[ fan-teyl ]

  1. a tail, end, or part shaped like a fan.

  2. one of a breed of domestic pigeons, having a fan-shaped tail.

  1. any of various small birds having fanlike tails, as the Old World flycatchers of the genus Rhipidura and the American wood warblers of the genus Euthlypis.

  2. Building Trades, Architecture. a structure or structural member having a number of radiating parts, as an arch centering.

  3. Nautical.

    • the part of a rounded stern extending abaft the aftermost perpendicular; rounded counter.

    • the area within this.

  4. Western U.S. a mustang.

  1. Cooking. (of shrimp) shelled, split almost through, and flattened slightly before cooking.

Origin of fantail

First recorded in 1720–30; fan1 + tail1

Other words from fantail

  • fan-tailed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fantail in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fantail


/ (ˈfænˌteɪl) /

  1. a breed of domestic pigeon having a large tail that can be opened like a fan

  2. any Old World flycatcher of the genus Rhipidura, of Australia, New Zealand, and SE Asia, having a broad fan-shaped tail

  1. a tail shaped like an outspread fan

  2. architect a part or structure having a number of components radiating from a common centre

  3. a burner that ejects fuel to produce a wide flat flame in a lamp or furnace

  4. a flat jet of air and coal dust projected into the air stream of a pulverized-coal furnace

  5. an auxiliary sail on the upper portion of a windmill that turns the mill to face the wind

  6. US a curved part of the deck projecting aft of the sternpost of a ship

Derived forms of fantail

  • fan-tailed, adjective

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