tailgate

noun
tail·​gate | \ ˈtāl-ˌgāt How to pronounce tailgate (audio) \

Definition of tailgate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a board or gate at the rear of a vehicle that can be removed or let down (as for loading)
2 [from the custom of seating trombonists at the rear of trucks carrying jazz bands in parades] : a jazz trombone style marked by much use of slides to and from long sustained tones
3 US : tailgate party Nowadays, tailgates have evolved into mobile feasts: face-to-face social networks where complete strangers bond over food and drink, and everyone is eager to share.— Greg Ferro

tailgate

verb
tailgated; tailgating

Definition of tailgate (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to drive dangerously close behind another vehicle
2 US : to have a tailgate party

transitive verb

: to drive dangerously close behind

tailgate

adjective

Definition of tailgate (Entry 3 of 3)

US
: relating to or being a tailgate party

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tailgate

Verb

tailgater noun

Examples of tailgate in a Sentence

Verb He hit the car in front of him because he was tailgating. They started tailgating at 10 o'clock.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Speakers at the tailgate used a microphone and speaker placed in the back of a pickup truck throughout the event. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Protesters gather at Arizona Capitol on Fourth of July in support of individuals' rights," 6 July 2020 Events over the Classic weekend include a battle of the bands, campus tailgate, marching-band appearances, golf outing and more. Marc Bona, cleveland, "2020 Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic canceled," 2 July 2020 Revisions at the back are even more obvious with the arrival of a full-width wraparound tailgate incorporating oval lamps and with the license plate mounting moved to the bumper. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Bentayga Gets Big Style and Content Upgrade," 30 June 2020 And there's an option to spec the tailgate with a work surface that includes rulers, pencil holders, a cupholder, and a place to keep your mobile device. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Everything we know about the new Ford F-150 truck—including the hybrid," 25 June 2020 The tailgate gets a bit of love in the second image with the taillight seen in all its protruding glory, while finally the Bronco name makes an appearance in a spectacular shade of yellow, in what appears to be the door frame. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Ford Posts Even More Bronco Teaser Images to Get You through the Weekend," 11 July 2020 The next music-meets-tailgate experience Quick is working on will be with Christian music artist Chris Tomlin at the Kentucky Exposition Center parking lot, 937 Phillips Lane. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "A concert in your car? Tailgate entertainment is headed to Louisville. Here's how it works," 10 July 2020 The tailgate event, which brought together several people who were wearing hats and waving flags in support of U.S. President Donald J. Trump, started at 5 p.m. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Protesters gather at Arizona Capitol on Fourth of July in support of individuals' rights," 6 July 2020 The couple left the scene before police could arrive, however, police did get a witness photograph of the suspects’ vehicle, which was described as a Nissan pickup truck with the word ‘NICOLE’ on the right side of the tailgate in silver lettering. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Police Looking For 2 White People Who Vandalized California Black Lives Matter Street Mural," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At Road America, fans park inside the gates and typically tailgate while watching from along the fence lines and hillsides around the 640-acre property. Dave Kallmann, The Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon wins Road America, now 3-for-3 to start IndyCar season," 12 July 2020 At Road America, fans park inside the gates and typically tailgate while watching from along the fence lines and hillsides around the 640-acre property. Dave Kallmann, The Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon wins Road America, now 3-for-3 to start IndyCar season," 12 July 2020 At Road America, fans park inside the gates and typically tailgate while watching from along the fence lines and hillsides around the 640-acre property. Dave Kallmann, The Indianapolis Star, "Scott Dixon wins Road America, now 3-for-3 to start IndyCar season," 12 July 2020 At Road America, fans park inside the gates and typically tailgate while watching from along the fence lines and hillsides around the 640-acre property. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Scott Dixon wins his third straight and has a chance to hit two IndyCar milestones Sunday at Road America," 11 July 2020 The Bronco Instagram account has been populated not only with a grid image, but also with detail shots of the upcoming SUV's headlights, tailgate, and possible door frame. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Ford Posts Even More Bronco Teaser Images to Get You through the Weekend," 11 July 2020 Helping here are attention to cab and tailgate details as well as hardware such as active grille shutters and a retractable front air dam. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Ford’s 2021 F-150 lineup includes a hybrid," 26 June 2020 As well as helping fuel efficiency, the hybrid F-150 aims to be helpful on a worksite or tailgate event. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Everything we know about the new Ford F-150 truck—including the hybrid," 25 June 2020 The three-day, nine-show event will take place in the parking lots of amphitheaters, where concertgoers will have two parking spaces between each vehicle to tailgate and watch their favorite artists play from a distance. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, "Drive-in concerts are here, but they aren't the answer to live music blues during coronavirus," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The event will be unique, in that it will be set up in a tailgate format. cleveland, "Richmond Heights to hold outdoor ‘Tailgate Community Discussion’ on Belle Oaks Aug. 9," 1 Aug. 2020 The tailgate protest appears to have been organized by some of the people who held rallies for the state to re-open from its original shutdown prompted by COVID-19. Emily Wilder, The Arizona Republic, "Fourth of July events planned in protest of Ducey's new COVID-19 executive order," 4 July 2020 Now Quick is bringing the tailgate-style concert concept to Louisville. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "A concert in your car? Tailgate entertainment is headed to Louisville. Here's how it works," 10 July 2020 Protesters at the tailgate event were discouraged from wearing masks — almost no one at the protest wore one. Audrey Jensen, The Arizona Republic, "Protesters gather at Arizona Capitol on Fourth of July in support of individuals' rights," 6 July 2020 Having power for a table saw also means having power for tailgating parties, to run a TV or refrigerator or cooking equipment, said DiMarco, a mother of twin teenagers who lives in Ann Arbor and understands the value of tailgate parties. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford just revealed 2021 F-150: Why this new model is different," 26 June 2020 Firing off a sardonic tweet comparing the aftermath of looting to that of a tailgate gathering outside a country-music concert. The Economist, "The media and prejudice Why race will continue to vex American newsrooms," 22 June 2020 The material withstands energetic attacks with aluminum bats, but dragging kayaks off the tailgate might leave the tiniest of scratches. Popular Science, "The 100 greatest innovations of 2019," 3 Dec. 2019 On Thursday, with restaurant patios still closed, Dana Judd and her friends spread towels on the parking lot in front of Loveria and had a tailgate picnic. Los Angeles Times, "A suburban Texas mayor takes the plunge to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic," 23 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tailgate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tailgate

Noun

1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1949, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Adjective

1962, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tailgate

Time Traveler for tailgate

Time Traveler

The first known use of tailgate was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tailgate

Last Updated

27 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tailgate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tailgate. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tailgate

tailgate

noun
How to pronounce tailgate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tailgate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly US : a door at the back of a vehicle (such as a station wagon or pickup truck) that opens downward and that can be lowered or removed to make it easier to load things into the vehicle

tailgate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of tailgate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to drive too closely behind another vehicle
US : to have a tailgate party

tailgate

noun
tail·​gate | \ ˈtāl-ˌgāt How to pronounce tailgate (audio) \

Kids Definition of tailgate

: a panel at the back end of a vehicle that can be lowered for loading and unloading

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tailgate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tailgate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tailgate

Spanish Central: Translation of tailgate

Nglish: Translation of tailgate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tailgate

What made you want to look up tailgate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!