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[koht-teyl] /ˈkoʊtˌteɪl/

the back of the skirt on a man’s or jacket.
one of the two back parts of the skirt of a coat, especially one of the on a .
gained by association with another, especially with a successful or celebrated person:
coattail benefits.
on someone’s coattails, aided by association with another person:
The senator rode into office on the president’s coattails.
on the coattails of, immediately after or as a result of:
His decline in popularity followed on the coattails of the scandal.

also coat-tail, c.1600, from coat (n.) + tail (n.). In 17c., to do something on one’s own coattail meant “at one’s own expense. Meaning “power of one person,” especially in politics, is from 1848 (in a Congressional speech by Abraham Lincoln, in reference to Andrew Jackson); expression riding (someone’s) coattails into political office is from 1949.


Based on another person’s achievement or quality; derivative: But the Sephardim are not likely to remain contented with coattail power for long


To keep the same musical tempo: You’re still keeping the same time. We called it coattailing (1950s+ Musicians)

Related Terms

on someone’s coattails
see: on someone’s coattails


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