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tail +‎ -er


tailer (plural tailers)

  1. One who follows or tails surreptitiously, as an investigator.
    • 1986, Frederick D. Huebner, The Joshua Sequence, page 116:
      I had to concentrate on staying out of sight, yet close enough not to be stranded on the wrong side of a stoplight. I was working so hard at it that I didn't notice that the tailer had become the tailee.
    • 2003, Philip R. Craig, A Vineyard Killing, page 74:
      When the car entered the traffic circle I followed after it, the tailed now tailing the tailer. The car's occupants, sure now that they'd been spotted, sped off ahead of me along Dodgers Hole Road.
    • 2012, Henry Kane, Don't Call Me Madame:
      he became aware that he was being tailed. ... turned the action around and tailed the tailer, and then realized that the tailer had not been tailing him
  2. (nautical) A worker on a yacht, responsible for furling and setting the sails.
    • 2000, Dave Cox, The Sailing Handbook:
      The next step was the invention of the self-tailing device, whereby the need for a tailer, holding the sheet or halyard while another person operated the winch, was eliminated.
  3. (fishing) A large noose with a long handle intended to secure a fish's tail.
  4. (fishing) A fish bottom-feeding in shallow water with its tail out of the water.


  • Waldemar Karwowski, Neville A. Stanton, Human Factors and Ergonomics in Consumer Product Design: Uses and Applications