from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A coat with tails; specifically, a coat with a divided skirt cut away in front, like a dress-coat, or the so-called swallow-tailed coat.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • AzuraTheBlueDevil didn't think so: "I turned up for the school run in a tail-coat and knee-highbuckle-up pirate boots the otherday."

    The readers' room: what you thought of G2 this week

  • He does not assume the tail-coat and the manners of manhood too early: he holds his tongue, and listens to his elders: his mind blushes as well as his cheeks: he does not know how to make bows and pay compliments like the young Frenchman: nor to contradict his seniors as I am informed

    The Newcomes

  • In part it was a modest cancan, in part a step dance, in part a skirt-dance (so far as my tail-coat permitted), and in part original.

    The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells

  • Old Dobbin, his father, who now respected him for the first time, gave him two guineas publicly; most of which he spent in a general tuck-out for the school: and he came back in a tail-coat after the holidays.

    Vanity Fair

  • I changed my tail-coat for my jacket, but I did not take off the necktie.

    First Love

  • Before dinner-time I pomaded myself once more, and once more put on my tail-coat and necktie.

    First Love

  • Something unusual proclaimed itself in my tail-coat pocket, and I felt and discovered a glass ball.

    Twelve Stories and a Dream, by H. G. Wells

  • A few moments later the enormous door creaked open, and Charlotte found herself staring at a man in a tail-coat, with stark white skin and no face at all.

    The Shadow Thieves

  • With his black tail-coat and white tie, fresh face and sleek brown hair, he looked just like an Eton boy; yet he had earned his living since he was twelve, and worked his way up literally from the gutter.

    Down and Out in Paris and London

  • He nodded to the doorman, an ancient proud negro with brass buttons and a blue tail-coat, and paraded through the hall, trying to look like a member.



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  • "Colonel Grangerford was a gentleman you see. He was a gentleman all over...His hands was long and thin, and every day of his life he put on a clean shirt and a full suit from head to foot made out of linen so white it hurt your eyes to look at it; and on Sunday he wore a blue tail-coat and brass buttons on it...There weren't no frivolishness about him, not a bit, and he weren't never loud."

    - Mark Twain, 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'.

    October 17, 2008