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[v. en-teyl; n. en-teyl, en-teyl] /v. ɛnˈteɪl; n. ɛnˈteɪl, ˈɛn teɪl/
verb (used with object)
to cause or involve by necessity or as a consequence:
a loss entailing no regret.
to impose as a burden:
Success entails hard work.
Law. to limit the passage of (a landed estate) to a specified line of heirs, so that it cannot be alienated, devised, or bequeathed.
Law. to cause (anything) to descend to a fixed series of possessors.
the act of entailing.
Law. the state of being entailed.
any predetermined order of succession, as to an office.
Law. something that is entailed, as an estate.
Law. the rule of descent settled for an estate.
Origin of entail
1350-1400; Middle English entailen (v.), entail (noun). See en-1, tail2
Related forms
entailer, noun
entailment, noun
nonentailed, adjective
preentail, verb (used with object)
unentailed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for entailed
  • The field work would have entailed working with biologists at the marine sanctuary to monitor oceanic life and activity.
  • The high mutation rate that this would have entailed may have been instrumental in the evolution of the egg.
  • Some of the post-9/11 changes have entailed increased regulation.
  • The control group did a more conventional cognitive learning program that entailed viewing educational videos on art and history.
  • Importantly, these occupations varied along one dimension: the extent to which the job entailed interaction with children.
  • At first, his job entailed identifying and logging game bugs.
  • One test entailed keeping the thighs together while using the machine.
  • To print a sermon gave it a second life, but it commonly entailed all the pangs of a new birth.
  • The transit to the new home across the wide and unsettled plains and mountains was a huge undertaking and entailed much hardship.
  • The job entailed running a bilingual elementary school, hosting student teachers, and teaching at the college.
British Dictionary definitions for entailed


verb (transitive)
to bring about or impose by necessity; have as a necessary consequence: this task entails careful thought
(property law) to restrict (the descent of an estate) to a designated line of heirs
(logic) to have as a necessary consequence
(property law)
  1. the restriction imposed by entailing an estate
  2. an estate that has been entailed
Derived Forms
entailer, noun
Word Origin
C14: entaillen, from en-1 + taille limitation, tail²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for entailed



mid-14c., "convert (an estate) into 'fee tail' (feudum talliatum)," from en- (1) "make" + taile "legal limitation," especially of inheritance, ruling who succeeds in ownership and preventing it from being sold off, from Anglo-French taile, Old French taillie, past participle of taillier "allot, cut to shape," from Late Latin taliare. Sense of "have consequences" is 1829, from notion of "inseparable connection." Related: Entailed; entailling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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