tailor

1 [tey-ler]
noun
1.
a person whose occupation is the making, mending, or altering of clothes, especially suits, coats, and other outer garments.
verb (used with object)
2.
to make by tailor's work.
3.
to fashion or adapt to a particular taste, purpose, need, etc.: to tailor one's actions to those of another.
4.
to fit or furnish with clothing.
5.
Chiefly U.S. Military. to make (a uniform) to order; cut (a ready-made uniform) so as to cause to fit more snugly; taper.
verb (used without object)
6.
to do the work of a tailor.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English (noun) < Anglo-French tailour, Old French tailleor, equivalent to taill(ier) to cut (< Late Latin tāliāre, derivative of Latin tālea a cutting, literally, heel-piece; see tally) + -or -or2

Dictionary.com Unabridged

tailor

2 [tey-ler]
noun British Dialect.
a stroke of a bell indicating someone's death; knell.

Origin:
alteration by folk etymology of teller

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tailor (ˈteɪlə)
 
n
1.  a person who makes, repairs, or alters outer garments, esp menswearRelated: sartorial
2.  a voracious and active marine food fish, Pomatomus saltator, of Australia with scissor-like teeth
 
vb
3.  to cut or style (material, clothes, etc) to satisfy certain requirements
4.  (tr) to adapt so as to make suitable for something specific: he tailored his speech to suit a younger audience
5.  (intr) to follow the occupation of a tailor
 
Related: sartorial
 
[C13: from Anglo-Norman taillour, from Old French taillier to cut, from Latin tālea a cutting; related to Greek talis girl of marriageable age]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tailor
1296, from Anglo-Fr. tailour, from O.Fr. tailleor "tailor," lit. "a cutter," from tailler "to cut," from M.L. taliator vestium "a cutter of clothes," from L.L. taliare "to split," from L. talea "a slender stick, rod, staff, a cutting, twig," on the notion of a piece of a plant cut for grafting. Possible
cognates include Skt. talah "wine palm," O.Lith. talokas "a young girl," Gk. talis "a marriageable girl" (for sense, cf. slip of a girl, twiggy), Etruscan Tholna, name of the goddess of youth.
"Although historically the tailor is the cutter, in the trade the 'tailor' is the man who sews or makes up what the 'cutter' has shaped." [OED]
The verb is recorded from 1662; fig. sense of "to design (something) to suit needs" is attested from 1942. Tailor-made first recorded 1832 (in a fig. sense); originally "heavy and plain," as of women's garments made by a tailor rather than a dress-maker.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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