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To dwindle, diminish, or fade away; to become fainter or weaker. He started talking about the tax code, but he tailed away when he realized no one was listening. The music from the radio tailed away as the car drove off. Once famous for creating a huge range of innovative devices, the company's ideas seem to have started tailing away in recent years.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tail awayor tail off
1. To diminish gradually; dwindle or subside: The singer's voice tails away at the end of the song. The fireworks tailed off into darkness.
2. Sports To veer from a straight course. Used of a ball that has been hit or thrown: The pitcher snapped his wrist when throwing the ball, and it tailed away as it approached home plate. The wind caused the football to tail off and the receiver couldn't catch it. The uneven table caused the pool ball to tail off.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.