Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Resembling or suggestive of the tail of a fish in shape or movement.
  • intransitive verb To have the rear end of a forward-moving vehicle swerve from side to side out of control.
  • intransitive verb To swing the tail of an airplane from side to side in order to reduce speed.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (aeronautics) to slow down by moving the tail sideways, of an airplane.
  • intransitive verb to have the rear end skid from side to side, out of control: -- said of automobiles or other vehicles.
  • intransitive verb a gas burner that gives a spreading flame shaped somewhat like the tail of a fish.
  • intransitive verb (Steamship) a propeller with a single blade that oscillates like the tail of a fish when swimming.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The tail of a fish, or an object resembling this.
  • verb intransitive To swing the back of a vehicle (originally an aircraft) from side to side.
  • verb intransitive To move with the tail swinging from side to side in this way.

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

  • verb slow down by moving the tail sideways

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

fish +‎ tail

Examples

  • Meanwhile Kelly Osbourne – who America seems to have decided is a "fashion expert" – is claiming that "the fishtail is a massive trend this year", which is great news if you're a cod.

    Golden Globes 2012 – as it happened

  • You might not think that the fishtail is your sort of thing either, but if you want authenticity, then it 's your best bet.

    Parka Perfection

  • Meanwhile Kelly Osbourne - who America seems to have decided is a "fashion expert" - is claiming that "the fishtail is a massive trend this year", which is great news if you're a cod.

    The Guardian World News

  • The Formula One driver was caught by police executing a "burnout" and "fishtail" - tricks in which wheels are intentionally spun and skidded - in front of fans ahead of the Melbourne

    mirror.co.uk - Home

  • A police officer tried several times to perform what is known as a fishtail maneuver to make the car lose control, but those attempts failed until the driver exited the highway and tried to turn into a restaurant parking lot.

    KAKE - HomePage - Headlines

  • "It is our belief that [electronic stability control] should prevent the kind of fishtail event described," Ms. Piscitelli said.

    Toyota to Halt Sale of SUV Consumer Reports Slammed

  • "It is our belief that [electronic stability control] should prevent the kind of fishtail event described," Ms. Piscitelli said.

    Toyota to Halt Sale of SUV Consumer Reports Slammed

  • "It is our belief that [electronic stability control] should prevent the kind of fishtail event described," Ms. Piscitelli said.

    Toyota to Halt Sale of SUV Consumer Reports Slammed

  • "It is our belief that [electronic stability control] should prevent the kind of fishtail event described," Ms. Piscitelli said.

    Consumer Reports Calls Lexus GX 460 Unsafe

  • "burnout" and "fishtail" - tricks in which wheels are intentionally spun and skidded - in front of fans ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne in March.

    icCheshireOnline

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