1. the race, flume, or channel leading away from a waterwheel or the like.
  2. Mining. the channel for conducting tailings or refuse away in water.

Origin of tailrace

First recorded in 1770–80; tail1 + race1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tailrace

Historical Examples of tailrace

British Dictionary definitions for tailrace


  1. a channel that carries water away from a water wheel, turbine, etcCompare headrace
  2. mining the channel for removing tailings in water
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