Definition of fantail in English:



  • 1A fan-shaped tail or end.

    • ‘Camilla wore a Philip Treacy natural straw hat overlaid with ivory French lace and trimmed with a fantail of feathers.’
    • ‘The skirt was hourglass shaped with a fantail train.’
    1. 1.1North American The overhanging part of the stern of a boat, especially a warship.
      ‘the skipper assigned me to duty on the fantail’
      • ‘I make my way to the rear of the ship out on the fantail.’
      • ‘Although most fleet Kingfishers were catapulted from the fantails of battleships and cruisers, the Navy also tried mounting them on the stern of destroyers.’
      • ‘Despite going to sea on a boat with no windows, no fantail, no helipad or even a hatch to allow in some tension-breaking fresh salt air, submariners are still sailors at heart.’
      • ‘They rigged up a rope ladder and hung it from the fantail and the liberty boat ran in under it.’
      • ‘Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Hans Jacobs led the deck and rigging crew, as they safely lifted the AAV from the ocean and onto the ship's fantail.’
    2. 1.2 The fan of a windmill.
      • ‘The heritage group dedicated to restoring Holgate Windmill in York to a full working state, with a new set of five sails and fantail, has a range of merchandise to help fund its worthy cause.’
      • ‘A huge 60ft crane will be used to hoist a new fantail on to the back of historic Shipley Windmill.’
      • ‘Verbij, whose family has been building windmills for four generations, said little had survived of the windmill's original fantail, which was made of a soft wood that lasted only about 20 years under the continual onslaught of salt air and sea winds.’
  • 2A domestic pigeon of a broad-tailed variety.

    • ‘Lamarck's Philosophie zoologique mentions the great variety of animal and plant forms produced under human cultivation (Lamarck even anticipated Darwin in mentioning fantail pigeons!’
    • ‘In that area were several bird houses crowded with gorgeous white fantail pigeons, who perched there or hopped down to walk around on the ground; a couple of Muscovy ducks; a sleepy dog.’
    • ‘I know it's difficult to think of clever names for white fantail doves, that's why I asked you lot to help!’
    • ‘A fantail pigeon will probably mate only if it catches the eye of the breeder; a wild pigeon will not mate unless it withstands the struggle for existence long enough to reach maturity.’
  • 3A flycatcher with a long tapering tail that is often fanned out, found mainly in SE Asia and Australasia.

    • ‘This morning I woke to a few young Kauri trees, a couple of twittering fantails and the most crystal blue, pristine sky with a fat orange orb peeking between the trees.’
    • ‘As you walk you have a good chance of seeing some native birds - brown creepers, bellbirds, grey warblers and fantails.’
    • ‘When you need to pause for breath look at the surrounding bush, listen to the birds and watch to see fantails, bellbirds, and native pigeons.’
    • ‘This year I did observe two little fantails collecting spider web from around the house itself and visiting a nearby avocado sapling that had grown from a carelessly thrown stone last year - or maybe the year before.’
    • ‘Along these roads are many walking tracks where native birds such as wood pigeons, bellbirds, weka and fantails can be seen and heard.’