Definition of entail in English:


Line breaks: en¦tail
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈteɪl
, ɛn-/


[with object]
  • 2 Law Limit the inheritance of (property) over a number of generations so that ownership remains within a particular family or group: her father’s estate was entailed on a cousin
    More example sentences
    • Within the inalienability of entailed real property was concealed the conversion of Parliamentary seats into a cash value.
    • Fortunes then were large and permanent since they were entailed and in fact the younger branches of the family never married.
  • 2.1 archaic Cause to experience or possess (something) permanently or inescapably: I cannot get rid of the disgrace which you have entailed upon us


Law Back to top  
  • 1A limitation of the inheritance of property to certain heirs over a number of generations: the damage being done in England by entails [mass noun]: landed property was governed by primogeniture and entail
    More example sentences
    • The greater aristocracy built up their estates, often in several counties, and protected them from the follies of spendthrift heirs by the entail or strict settlement.
    • One form of old settlement was regarded by the Law Commission as inappropriate in modern law and cannot now be created in any form: that settlement is the entail.
    • In Prussia, or Spain before 1836, perpetual entails prevented the break-up of large estates.
  • 1.1A property bequeathed under an entail: the spinning mills were not part of the entail



More example sentences
  • Individuals cannot choose their physical and cultural heritage, but they can choose to deny or moderate the structural entailments of this heritage.
  • When you say that, it has a bunch of entailments.
  • The positing of axioms has a direct parallel with Acts of ethical commitment: once made, both result in strict logical entailments, but neither are grounded in anything.


late Middle English (referring to settlement of property; formerly also as intail): from en-1, in-2 'into' + Old French taille 'notch, tax' (see tail2).

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