1 [teyl-geyt]
the board or gate at the back of a wagon, truck, station wagon, etc., which can be removed or let down for convenience in loading or unloading.
verb (used without object), tailgated, tailgating.
to follow or drive hazardously close to the rear of another vehicle.
verb (used with object), tailgated, tailgating.
to follow or drive hazardously close to the rear of (another vehicle).
pertaining to or set up on a tailgate: a tailgate picnic before the football game.

1850–55, Americanism; tail1 + gate

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2 [teyl-geyt]
noun Jazz.
a style of playing the trombone, especially in Dixieland jazz, distinguished especially by the use of melodic counterpoint and long glissandi.

1945–50; so called from the usual seat of trombonists in trucks carrying musicians during a parade

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tailgate (ˈteɪlˌɡeɪt)
1.  another name for tailboard
2.  a door at the rear of a hatchback vehicle
3.  to drive very close behind (a vehicle)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1868, back panel on a wagon, hinged to swing down and open, from tail + gate. Extended by 1950 to hatchback door on an automobile. The verb meaning "to drive too close behind another vehicle" is from 1951; tailgate party "party or picnic at the open tail-gate of a parked car" is attested from 1970.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

tailgate definition

  1. tv. & in.
    to follow (someone) too closely in a car. : That guy tailgating me is drunk, I think.
  2. in.
    to have a tailgate party. : We planned to tailgate before the game, but it was massively cold.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Example sentences
Try telling that to the crowd at the next football tailgate.
We think they are a safe bet to sweeten your tailgate.
Instead of the usual morning links, we're starting the day off with a tailgate
Freeze overnight and thaw the morning of tailgate party.
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