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1. The loose back part of a coat that hangs below the waist.
2. coattails The skirts of a formal or dress coat.
on the coattails of
1. As a result of the success of another: elected to office on the coattails of a popular governor.
2. Immediately following or as a direct result of: resigned on the coattails of the scandal.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



1. the back of the skirt on a man's coat or jacket.
2. one of the two tails on a tail coat.
3. gained by association with another: coattail benefits.
1. on someone's coattails, aided by association with another person: The senator rode into office on the President's coattails.
2. on the coattails of, immediately after or as a direct result of.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.coattail - the loose back flap of a coat that hangs below the waistcoattail - the loose back flap of a coat that hangs below the waist
coat - an outer garment that has sleeves and covers the body from shoulder down; worn outdoors
flap - any broad thin and limber covering attached at one edge; hangs loose or projects freely; "he wrote on the flap of the envelope"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Your excellency won't be disturbed here," said a particularly pertinacious, white-headed old Tatar with immense hips and coattails gaping widely behind.
And the Tatar ran off with flying coattails, and in five minutes darted in with a dish of opened oysters on mother-of-pearl shells, and a bottle between his fingers.
It was November, and my guardian was standing before his fire leaning his back against the chimney-piece, with his hands under his coattails.
He ran, he flew, he pranced, his face glowed, his bald head shown, his coattails waved wildly, his pumps actually twinkled in the air, and when the music stopped, he wiped the drops from his brow, and beamed upon his fellow men like a French Pickwick without glasses.
Mary Walker and other reformers have done with their coattails in our own day -- an evidence that revolutions sometimes go backward.
They were worried, in the traditional way, about the coattail effect of the candidates at the top.
A sizable literature addresses presidential-legislative coattail effects in the American context, with less attention given to this interaction in non-Western democracies.
CHRIS SHIFLETT & The Dead Peasants (RCA) HIS day job bandmates are off doing their own thing, Dave Grohl with Them Crooked Vultures, and Taylor Hawkins with his Coattail Riders.
dusk I lay my shotgun down On her back porch Lift her coattail and push
When one adds all gubernatorial races to the analysis, as we do in Figures 1 and 2, (20) backlash against the President's party in state races during a President's term is actually stronger overall than the coattail effect in the presidential election year.
"God should have pulled my coattail then and there: 'Enjoy this while you can, honey, because Satan beat me in a poker game last night, and he's claiming you and yours sometime soon.'" In the entertaining tale of BOSS LADY (Simon & Schuster, $21.95), Omar Tyree returns to pick up the story of Tracy Ellison.
Chubb (1988) conducted the most extensive empirical analysis of the hypothesis and obtained mixed results: He found that a high degree of legislative professionalism fails to insulate state legislative elections from the effects of national economic conditions but does buffer them from coattail effects of higher level elections.