turn tail


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Related to turn tail: stick with, run by, let off

turn tail (and run)

Fig. to flee; to run away in fright. I couldn't just turn tail and run, but I wasn't going to fight that monster, either. Sometimes turning tail is the only sensible thing to do.
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

1. to suddenly leave The only thing I could do was to turn tail and run from my attacker.
2. to suddenly change from supporting something to opposing it The senator turned tail on his party.
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

  (informal)
to run away, usually because you are frightened When I saw him my first impulse was to turn tail and flee.
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

Run away, as in When they heard the sirens, the boys turned tail. This term alludes to an animal's turning its back in flight. [Mid-1500s]
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

verb
See also: tail, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
He doesn't feel confident about coping so, naturally, he wants to turn tail and run.
If he feels he's being pushed along too quickly, he could easily turn tail and run.
If you don't want to be there, it's easy to turn tail and go home.
A glare from his craggy, sun-burned features is said to be enough to make the enemy turn tail and run.
For whatever we do, for whatever action we take to avenge the deaths of thousands of our people, the big question remains: Will we have the stomach for warring against the terrorists responsible for this blood bath or will we turn tail and run?
Owner Neil Rogers, a former builder turned pig breeder, said: "All the postmen have to do is walk calmly towards Ronnie and Reggie and they will turn tail.
They're fearless furry creatures that won't turn tail at hi-tech scarers, shooting only makes them breed faster and, when a photographer turned up to snap them, his car was wrecked.
Only to turn tail and scarper, leaving Jamie to fight his own battle.
After the first 45 minutes (or possibly sooner), part of you just wants the beleaguered protagonists to admit defeat, turn tail and get the heck out of New York.
But he was forced to turn tail when angry staff showed him - and his furry friend - the door.
But Rocky Dillow was not about to turn tail just yet, even though that wind and sleet had combined to shear off a sizable tree limb a few yards away.
Rush-hour commuters on Philadelphia's elevated trains have been experiencing delays of up to 25 minutes this week because a stubborn mutt refuses to turn tail and get off the tracks.