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English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'

Turn tail   /tərn teɪl/   Listen
Turn tail

Flee; take to one's heels; cut and run.  Synonyms: break away, bunk, escape, fly the coop, head for the hills, hightail it, lam, run, run away, scarper, scat, take to the woods.  "The burglars escaped before the police showed up"

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Turn tail" Quotes from Famous Books

... myself on the back. "Now, surely," I thought, "that remaining boat will turn tail, and I shall have a chance to wipe her out on her way back to the junk!" But no; on she came, her crew yelling like demons, and churning the placid waters of the lagoon into foam with their oars. They sprang to their feet at each stroke, that they ...
— The First Mate - The Story of a Strange Cruise • Harry Collingwood

... side a narrow passage through which a man can slide from the officer's and driver's seat back and forth to the mechanism at the rear. There are four gun turrets, two on each side. There is also a place for a gun in the rear, but this is rarely used, for "Willies" do not often turn tail ...
— Life in a Tank • Richard Haigh

... highly rarefied air, rushing at great speed, when at its worst deprives the traveller of breath, skins his face and hands, and paralyses the baggage animals. In fact, neither man nor beast can face it. The horses 'turn tail' and crowd together, and the men build up the baggage into a wall and crouch in the lee of it. The heat of the solar rays is at the same time fearful. At Lachalang, at a height of over 15,000 feet, I noted a solar temperature of 152 degrees, only ...
— Among the Tibetans • Isabella L. Bird (Mrs Bishop)

... it that will. No Conservative Government in Canada can put through a cent of preference on English goods when it comes to the touch, and they know it. They're full of loyalty just now—baying the moon—but if anybody opens a window they'll turn tail fast enough." ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

Words linked to "Turn tail" :   skedaddle, leave, fly, take flight, head for the hills, flee, go forth, go away

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