turn tail


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

turn tail

To run away or flee, usually in fear. The burglars turned tail at the sound of our security alarm.
See also: tail, turn

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

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

If you turn tail, you turn and run away from someone or something because you are frightened of them. The rebels were forced back until they turned tail and fled. I go weak all over when I see her. Stumbling, I almost turn tail.
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

turn round and run away. informal
See also: tail, turn

turn ˈtail (and run, flee, etc.)

run away from a fight or a dangerous situation: As soon as he saw the police he turned tail and fled.
See also: tail, turn

turn tail

verb
See also: tail, turn
References in periodicals archive ?
But the law suit - plus the possibility of a nearby rival gambling mecca being set up - was enough to make BLB turn tail.
Those who have been calling for his head will suddenly turn tail, act all sympathetic and blame the pressures of trying to stay in contention in what is now the super league of Premiership teams.
It would be really wimpy of me to turn tail and run now.
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.