Definition of entail in English:



  • 1Involve (something) as a necessary or inevitable part or consequence.

    ‘a situation which entails considerable risks’
    • ‘And I think that cleaning up from drugs necessarily entails a revaluation of the spiritual facet of yourself.’
    • ‘The existence of the one necessarily entails the existence of the other.’
    • ‘If the debate about the post-Cold War structure was about the relevance of the balance of power in general, it was also specifically focused on the nature of the resultant polarity, and the consequences for stability entailed by it.’
    • ‘It entails an involved series of exchanges that verify the integrity of every downstream device attached to the repeater.’
    • ‘Yet a rejection of the present does not necessarily entail a desired return to a more stable - that is, colonial - moment in Ireland's past.’
    • ‘Thus, my contention is that the existence of uneven power relations does not necessarily entail the subordination and passivity of the ‘other’.’
    • ‘Economic efficiency did not necessarily entail the development of large, capital-intensive factories, for towns themselves were highly effective economic units.’
    • ‘But a weak sense of the ‘public’ does not necessarily entail a strong sense of the ‘private’.’
    • ‘It necessarily entails a certain degree of compromise on the part of the insurgents.’
    • ‘As the mother is an innocent bystander in the endeavour her involvement entails only risk.’
    • ‘Rural life is badly suited to non-agricultural production, so economic development necessarily entails the progressive urbanization of the population.’
    • ‘Safeties need to know the entire defensive scheme, even though their jobs don't necessarily entail a lot of adjustments.’
    • ‘It does not even necessarily entail a set of shared beliefs.’
    • ‘Whether the abandonment of the dialectics of nature necessarily entails the abandonment of the materialist conception of history, as Monod seemed to think, seems quite a different matter.’
    • ‘The new system of logistic support for the Navy will inevitably entail considerable changes in the organizational and staff structure of bases and depots.’
    • ‘Such practices do not necessarily entail intentional discrimination, but they provide a basis for legal action when the outcome is the exclusion of certain groups.’
    • ‘The evolution of swordfighting martial arts hero into gun-toting gangster must necessarily entail a new concept in production design.’
    • ‘High bypass criteria necessarily entails a high degree of risk, as we saw today.’
    • ‘I have said that this proposal would not necessarily entail any considerations of taxation levels.’
    • ‘This necessarily entails a continuous stream of new lies to compensate for the exposure of the old ones.’
    necessitate, make necessary, require, need, demand, call for
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Logic Have as a logically necessary consequence.
      • ‘Because these are one and all reflective judgments, they entail neither a theoretical nor a practical conclusion as to what might be behind these purposes.’
      • ‘The last four predicates are equivalent, so they entail the same predicates and are entailed by the same predicates.’
      • ‘What is entailed by a necessary fact is itself necessary, however.’
      • ‘Most of us think we can always enlarge our knowledge base by accepting things that are entailed by things we know.’
      • ‘Indeed, strictly speaking, no such information will ever logically entail that there is an external world, in anything like the way we normally imagine.’
  • 2Law
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1archaic Cause to experience or possess (something) permanently or inescapably.
      ‘I cannot get rid of the disgrace which you have entailed upon us’


  • 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Prussia, or Spain before 1836, perpetual entails prevented the break-up of large estates.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A property bequeathed under an entail.
      ‘the spinning mills were not part of the entail’


Late Middle English (referring to settlement of property; formerly also as intail): from en-, in- ‘into’ + Old French taille ‘notch, tax’ (see tail).