Run away, as in When they heard the sirens, the boys turned tail. This term alludes to an animal's turning its back in flight. [Mid-1500s]
Words nearby turn tail
How to use turn tail in a sentence
So far, all the players seemed to be willing to wait their turn.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races|David Freedlander|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Third parties in turn quibbled with his accounts, and he was irritated, but not overly so.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
An ace comedic turn that, in lesser hands, would come off as one-note.Oscars 2015: The Daily Beast’s Picks, From Scarlett Johansson to ‘Boyhood’|Marlow Stern|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Who do you turn to now when you have a decision to make, when you have one less person to provide validation or advice?
In other words, Florida clerks were no longer allowed to turn gay couples away.The Back Alley, Low Blow-Ridden Fight to Stop Gay Marriage in Florida Is Finally Over|Jay Michaelson|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Turn away from sin and order thy hands aright, and cleanse thy heart from all offence.
He shall give his mind to turn up furrows, and his care is to give the kine fodder.
The dog stood with hanging head and tail, as if ashamed he had let so many of his enemies get away unharmed.The Courier of the Ozarks|Byron A. Dunn
Turn not away thy face from thy neighbour, and of taking away a portion and not restoring.
Turn we our backs to the cold gloomy north, to the wet windy west, to the dry parching east—on to the south!