verb (used with object)

  1. to cause or involve by necessity or as a consequence: a loss entailing no regret.
  2. to impose as a burden: Success entails hard work.
  3. Law. to limit the passage of (a landed estate) to a specified line of heirs, so that it cannot be alienated, devised, or bequeathed.
  4. Law. to cause (anything) to descend to a fixed series of possessors.


  1. the act of entailing.
  2. Law. the state of being entailed.
  3. any predetermined order of succession, as to an office.
  4. Law. something that is entailed, as an estate.
  5. Law. the rule of descent settled for an estate.

verb (tr)

  1. to bring about or impose by necessity; have as a necessary consequencethis task entails careful thought
  2. property law to restrict (the descent of an estate) to a designated line of heirs
  3. logic to have as a necessary consequence


  1. property law
    1. the restriction imposed by entailing an estate
    2. an estate that has been entailed

mid-14c., “convert (an estate) into ‘fee tail’ (feudum talliatum),” from en- (1) “make” + taile “legal limitation,” especially of inheritance, ruling who succeeds in ownership and preventing it from being sold off, from Anglo-French taile, Old French taillie, past participle of taillier “allot, cut to shape,” from Late Latin taliare. Sense of “have consequences” is 1829, from notion of “inseparable connection.” Related: Entailed; entailling.

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