hightail

[hahy-teyl]
verb (used without object) Informal.
  1. to go away or leave rapidly: Last we saw of him, he was hightailing down the street.
Idioms
  1. hightail it, hurry; rush; scamper: Hightail it down to the grocery store and buy some bread for lunch.

Origin of hightail

1885–90, Americanism; high + tail1, in reference to the raised tails of fleeing animals, as deer or rabbits
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for high-tail

Historical Examples of high-tail

  • High-Tail, having eaten the carrot, decided to go elsewhere.

    Partners of Chance

    Henry Herbert Knibbs

  • When they arrived, High-Tail had made his third round of the corral, with Jimmy still attached to the rope.

    Partners of Chance

    Henry Herbert Knibbs

  • So, as I was saying, we swipe two single-seaters from their trick airdrome and high-tail for the Russian front.

  • I jest held my loop in front of some carrots and High-Tail shoves his head into it.

    Partners of Chance

    Henry Herbert Knibbs


British Dictionary definitions for high-tail

hightail

verb
  1. (intr) informal, mainly US and Canadian to go or move in a great hurryAlso: hightail it
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 high-tail
v.

also hightail "move quickly," attested by 1890, U.S. slang from cattle ranches (animals fleeing with elevated tails); from high (adj.) + tail (n.). Related: Hightailed; hightailing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper