1. A piece forming an end; an appendage.
2. Printing An engraving or design placed as an ornament at the end of a chapter or at the bottom of a page.
3. Architecture A beam tailed into a wall. Also called tail beam.
4. Music A triangular piece of wood, usually ebony, to which the lower ends of the strings of a violin or other related instrument are attached.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.