en·tail (ĕn-tāl, ĭn-)
tr.v. en·tailed, en·tail·ing, en·tails
1. To have, impose, or require as a necessary accompaniment or consequence: The investment entailed a high risk. The proposition X is a rose entails the proposition X is a flower because all roses are flowers.
2. To limit the inheritance of (property) to a specified succession of heirs.
3. To bestow or impose on a person or a specified succession of heirs.
a. The act of entailing, especially property.
b. The state of being entailed.
2. An entailed estate.
3. A predetermined order of succession, as to an estate or to an office.
4. Something transmitted as if by unalterable inheritance.
[Middle English entaillen, to limit inheritance to specific heirs : en-, intensive pref.; see EN-1 + taille, tail; see TAIL2.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus