from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a breed of domestic pigeons having a rounded, fan-shaped tail.
  • n. Any of several birds of the genus Rhipidura of eastern Asia and Australia, having a long, fan-shaped tail.
  • n. Any of a breed of goldfish having a wide, fanlike double tail fin.
  • n. A fanlike tail or end.
  • n. Nautical The stern overhang of a ship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several birds, of the genus Rhipidura, from Asia and Australia
  • n. Any of several domestic varieties of pigeon having a fan-shaped tail
  • n. Any of several goldfish having a large fan-shaped tail
  • n. An overhanging deck at the stern of a ship

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A variety of the domestic pigeon, so called from the shape of the tail.
  • n. Any bird of the Australian genus Rhipidura, in which the tail is spread in the form of a fan during flight. They belong to the family of flycatchers.
  • n. the fantail goldfish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fan-tailed flycatcher; any bird of the genus Rhipidura, as the Australian fantail, R. motacilloides.
  • n. An artificial fan-tailed variety of the domestic pigeon.
  • n. A form of gas-burner.
  • n. A splayed tenon or mortise.
  • n. In shipbuilding, the projecting part of the stern of a yacht or other small vessel when it extends unusually far over the water abaft the stern-post.
  • Same as fan-tailed, 1: specifically applied to small old-world warblers of the genus Cisticola, as C. cursitans of Europe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an overhang consisting of the fan-shaped part of the deck extending aft of the sternpost of a ship


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • In the sense of the stern of a ship:

    From an hour before the ship sailed, they sat chatting on the fantail . . .
    David McCullough, The Path Between the Seas

    December 26, 2015