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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Fortunately p. 72none of us cared for Raphaels; but the most valuable pictures, including a Vandyck, were entailed.

    Masques & Phases Robert Ross
  • But, as Laura Ann said, it entailed things, notably industry.

    Four Girls and a Compact Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • Life with Kenny, who borrowed as freely as he gave, entailed petty harassments that could not be named.

    Kenny Leona Dalrymple
  • The rag jammed in the barrel and entailed a hard pull to extract it.

    The Hound From The North Ridgwell Cullum
  • But the Hawk had made a promise, and had to be formally freed of the duty it entailed.

    The Passing of Ku Sui Anthony Gilmore
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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