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tailgate Syllabification: tail·gate
Pronunciation: /ˈtālˌɡāt/

Definition of tailgate in English:


1A hinged flap at the back of a truck that can be lowered or removed when loading or unloading the vehicle.
Example sentences
  • The android made slow progress, and she was impatient, so she went outside to the truck and lowered its tailgate.
  • He shook his head again and lowered the truck's tailgate, pulling out the ramp.
  • Some Mikmaw had continued the traditional seasonal eel fishery in the Margaree River, for example, selling a few hundred pounds of fresh eels from the tailgates of pickup trucks each fall.
1.1The door at the back of a station wagon.
Example sentences
  • Among the auto parts that wear out fast or gets frequently damaged are the body panels and other exterior parts such as the bumper, the door, the tailgate, and the wheels, including the tires.
  • The split tailgate, as opposed to a standard, top-hinged hatchback door, is fun.
  • You use the key for the doors and the tailgate as well as the fuel filler, glovebox and console bin.
1.2North American A social gathering at which an informal meal is served from the back of a parked vehicle, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium: who would have thought it would get him like this, returning after all these years for a tailgate before a football game? [as modifier]: they turned the parking lot into a huge tailgate party
More example sentences
  • Enjoy this hearty dish during a tailgate for a real game winner.
  • Facebook, Twitter and texting are the easiest ways for you to plan your tailgate.
  • The tailgate continues with beer pong, pop-up tables and chairs and even a DJ to rock your bus.
2 [as modifier] Denoting a style of jazz trombone playing characterized by improvisation in the manner of the early New Orleans musicians.
Example sentences
  • Rosy's C-Melody sax beautifully sets the scene, but when Schneider takes over it becomes a deft execution of robust slide trombone at its tailgate best.
  • On most of these cuts you will hear Lloyd Hebert playing impeccable Cajun tailgate trombone in solos and ensembles.


informal Back to top  
1 [with object] Drive too closely behind another vehicle: he started tailgating the car in front [no object]: drivers who will tailgate at 90 mph
More example sentences
  • Within several moments, he is behind us, tailgating Aaron's car.
  • As an impecunious student, I rashly thumbed a ride from an advertising executive who went for the sound barrier while tailgating the cars in front and playing chicken with oncoming lorries.
  • Mr McKay said the Holden was weaving across the road behind him and then tailgated him bumper to bumper as the two cars made their way out to the Manaia Road intersection.
1.1Gain unauthorized entry to a secured area by closely following someone with authority to enter: a Toyota pickup tailgated the delivery vehicle into the prison three boys tailgated a group of tourists into the theater
More example sentences
  • In the first incident three men tailgated a customer to breach security and get into the Stanley Albion Casino on Cromwell Road, Pendleton, Salford.
  • In commercial burglaries, often offenders are tailgating through doors and lifts.
2 [no object] North American Host or attend a social gathering at which an informal meal is served from the back of a parked vehicle, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium: Lot 16E is reserved for alumni who wish to tailgate before the game
More example sentences
  • This will help to stagger the cars but also allow you to have a better parking spot, and in turn more time to tailgate.
  • Patriots fans really tailgate with the best they have, making it an enjoyable time for all.
  • The students will still tailgate, the seats will still be filled, and players can still come play Penn State football - just not for free.



Example sentences
  • Don't ruin your vacation with an expensive ticket and having your driver's license suspended - obey the speed and look out for tailgaters.
  • Well, I know how to deal with tailgaters; I slowed right down.
  • Whether it's tailgaters or cell phone talkers, life is filled with little annoyances which can add up to big headaches.

Words that rhyme with tailgate

Margate • Irangate

Definition of tailgate in:

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