- to swerve or skid from side to side, as the rear end of a car.
- to slow an airplane by causing its tail to move rapidly from side to side.
- such a maneuver.
- a gas burner having two jets crossing each other so as to produce a flame resembling a fish's tail.
- a device having a long, narrow slot at the top, placed over a gas jet, as of a Bunsen burner, to give a thin, fanlike flame.
- Jewelry. a setting consisting of four prominent triangular corner prongs to hold the stone.
Origin of fishtail
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for fishtail
Small and with a fishtail and fins, he is a goalkeeping genius defying physical laws.Enjoy Argentina’s Lionel Messi While You Can
July 13, 2014
At times, too, he was active with his Grenatenwerfer, known to the troops as the Pineapples or Fishtail.The History of the 51st (Highland) Division 1914-1918
Frederick William Bewsher
The 'fishtail' was a small trench-mortar bomb, which the Germans substituted for the rifle-grenade and used with great effect.Q.6.a and Other places
Hooyah followed within hailing distance, and they kept the same relative positions until they reached Fishtail Gulch.Red Hunters And the Animal People
Charles A. Eastman
Uncle John appeared unwilling to abandon the fishtail wenches, and countered with classical texts.Wilderness of Spring
Cannon-mouth barrel, brass mountings and lockplate, fishtail butt.
- an aeroplane manoeuvre in which the tail is moved from side to side to reduce speed
- a nozzle having a long narrow slot at the top, placed over a Bunsen burner to produce a thin fanlike flame
- to slow an aeroplane by moving the tail from side to side
- to drive with the rear of the vehicle moving from side to side in an uncontrolled fashion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for fishtail
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper