1. gained by association with another, especially with a successful or celebrated person: coattail benefits.
  1. on someone's coattails, aided by association with another person: The senator rode into office on the president's coattails.
  2. on the coattails of, immediately after or as a result of: His decline in popularity followed on the coattails of the scandal.

Origin of coattail

First recorded in 1590–1600; coat + tail1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coat-tail

Historical Examples of coat-tail

British Dictionary definitions for coat-tail


  1. the long tapering tails at the back of a man's tailed coat
  2. on someone's coat-tails thanks to the popularity or success of someone else
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