- 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), tail·gat·ed, tail·gat·ing.
- to follow or drive hazardously close to the rear of another vehicle.
verb (used with object), tail·gat·ed, tail·gat·ing.
- 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.
- a style of playing the trombone, especially in Dixieland jazz, distinguished especially by the use of melodic counterpoint and long glissandi.
- another name for tailboard
- a door at the rear of a hatchback vehicle
- to drive very close behind (a vehicle)
n.1868, back panel on a wagon, hinged to swing down and open, from tail (n.) + gate (n.). 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 1961.