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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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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Example sentences
Warm up game day with great, easy-to-transport tailgating recipes.
Following too closely, or tailgating is a common violation.
Tailgating life is easier when your game starts in mid-afternoon or later.
Tailgating season is here, but this year there's no reason to settle for
  sub-par snacks.
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