a tail, end, or part shaped like a fan.
one of a breed of domestic pigeons, having a fan-shaped tail.
any of various small birds having fanlike tails, as the Old World flycatchers of the genus Rhipidura and the American wood warblers of the genus Euthlypis.
Building Trades, Architecture. a structure or structural member having a number of radiating parts, as an arch centering.
the part of a rounded stern extending abaft the aftermost perpendicular; rounded counter.
the area within this.
Western U.S. a mustang.
Cookery. (of shrimp) shelled, split almost through, and flattened slightly before cooking.

1720–30; fan1 + tail1

fan-tailed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fantail (ˈfænˌteɪl)
1.  a breed of domestic pigeon having a large tail that can be opened like a fan
2.  any Old World flycatcher of the genus Rhipidura, of Australia, New Zealand, and SE Asia, having a broad fan-shaped tail
3.  a tail shaped like an outspread fan
4.  architect a part or structure having a number of components radiating from a common centre
5.  a burner that ejects fuel to produce a wide flat flame in a lamp or furnace
6.  a flat jet of air and coal dust projected into the air stream of a pulverized-coal furnace
7.  an auxiliary sail on the upper portion of a windmill that turns the mill to face the wind
8.  (US) a curved part of the deck projecting aft of the sternpost of a ship

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any of numerous birds of the Old World subfamily Rhipidurinae, family Muscicapidae (q.v.). Some authors retain these birds in the subfamily Muscicapinae. The fantails constitute the genus Rhipidura. Fantails are native to forest clearings, riverbanks, and beaches from southern Asia to New Zealand; some have become tame garden birds. Most of the two dozen species are coloured in shades of gray, black, brown, or rufous, often accented with areas of white, especially on the belly, eyebrows, and tail. They are named from their habit of constantly wagging and spreading their long, rounded tails. They build small cup nests, which are so finely bound in cobweb that they seem shellacked.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
They set up the grill on the fantail of the ship and serve hamburgers with all
  the fixings.
We returned to the fantail to watch for the tender's approach.
The farthest aft bar opens up onto a deck overlooking the fantail.
The second level door has traceried sidelights and a fantail with decorative
  molding above the door.
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