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


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



Definition of tailgate (Entry 3 of 3)

: relating to or being a tailgate party

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Other Words from tailgate


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 The tailgate show live stream began at 5 p.m. and the game is scheduled for 7 p.m. Hosts Tom Gamble and Tony Pike took viewers through all the week's action and delivered expert insights on all the key matchups around the region. Cincinnati.com, "Ohio High School Football: Live Week 3 tailgate show coming Friday from Loveland-Milford," 11 Sep. 2019 The evening began with a wine pull - which promptly sold out - and buffet-style tailgate fare. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "Fantasy Football Draft Night at NRG Stadium raises $375,000 for abused and neglected Houston youth," 5 Sep. 2019 That includes Ram’s useful optional multifunction tailgate. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Ram 1500 diesel delivers whisper-quiet power and class-leading towing," 20 Aug. 2019 Finding a productive wide receiver or tight end nowadays is about as tough as finding an over-intoxicated fan at an NFL tailgate. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Flashback: Greatest Receivers of the Century," 19 July 2019 The agent noted the white Ford truck had returned to Florida by June 23, and the black stripes had been removed from the truck’s tailgate. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "3 Oklahoma sisters crafted elaborate plan to ambush, kill couple in Alabama, feds say," 12 Sep. 2019 The end of summer brings tailgates, Halloween parties and holiday revelry — or in the language of White Claw’s marketing department, plenty more chances for a co-ed group hang. Emily Heil, Washington Post, "The key to White Claw’s surging popularity: Marketing to a post-gender world," 10 Sep. 2019 The end of summer brings tailgates, Halloween parties and holiday revelry - or in the language of White Claw’s marketing department, plenty more chances for a co-ed group hang. oregonlive, "White Claw reaches peak hysteria with rationing, destroys boozy gender divide," 10 Sep. 2019 Witnesses told police Judy was drunk and fell from the tailgate of a truck, striking her head on the ground. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Texas woman continues to search for answers after her mother Judy Marie Foster vanished nearly 30 years ago," 6 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the other hand, some were quick to defend the AD, pointing out that many who tailgate in the lot don’t make it into the game anyway. Kevin Vellturo, courant.com, "UConn releases rules for student tailgating lot. Twitter reacts.," 28 Aug. 2019 Some mentioned the lack of tailgating space and asked why the pressbox seemed to sit lower than other stadiums of similar capacities. Anna Beahm | Abeahm@al.com, al, "Final Birmingham stadium designs expected next week," 11 Sep. 2019 Thousands made their way to the parking lots surrounding Husky Stadium and resumed tailgating, although many just got in their vehicles and headed home with the already late kickoff. Tim Booth, SFChronicle.com, "Cal scores stunning upset over #14 Washington Huskies after long weather delay," 8 Sep. 2019 Verizon says one additional stadium whose name has not been announced yet will also get 5G. While service is limited today, the ultimate goal is to have 5G work throughout a stadium and out into the parking lots where fans tailgate. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, "Verizon brings 5G connectivity to 13 NFL stadiums in time for kickoff," 5 Sep. 2019 Music blared from a parking lot at the Alamodome as a group of men tailgated, their experience interrupted only by a train making a run on another hot afternoon. Terrence Thomas, ExpressNews.com, "Soccer titans put on show in Alamo City," 11 Sep. 2019 Walk around the exterior of the stadium and tailgating parking lots for free, or check out the new Titletown District for free entertainment. Amy Nelson, Twin Cities, "Green Bay Game Plan," 10 Sep. 2019 Many of those who make the weekly airport run had the opportunity to tailgate with the family of Mads Jorgensen, a 21-year-old Denmark native who plays midfield for Hartford. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Meet the Bradley Bunch, a group of Hartford Athletic fans who welcome the soccer team at the airport after every away game," 10 Aug. 2019 Drug abuse, Ridgewood Drive: On Aug. 9, police observed a vehicle tailgating the car in front of it on Ridgewood Drive. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Parma man with warrant and marijuana arrested: Parma Heights Police Blotter," 21 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In addition to world-class equestrian competitions, there will be a tailgate competition for those testing their culinary and creativity prowess from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, July 14. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Chagrin Valley Little Theatre presents its 10-10 Festival of one-act plays: Valley Views," 24 June 2019 That may exceed the tailgate’s load-bearing capacity. Dan Neil, WSJ, "A Luxury Truck Showdown: Ram 1500 vs. GMC Sierra," 11 Oct. 2018 The Sierra’s tailgate-forward marketing only proves how competitive this segment is. Dan Neil, WSJ, "A Luxury Truck Showdown: Ram 1500 vs. GMC Sierra," 11 Oct. 2018 Add on a prep board for the ultimate campsite, party, or tailgate accessory. Sunset, "10 Gourmet Gifts for Foodie Dads," 22 Jan. 2018 Post time for the first race is 1:30 p.m., and tailgate picnics are encouraged. Maryanna Skowronski, The Aegis, "Maryland's steeplechase season kicks off Saturday, April 7, with Elkridge-Harford races," 2 Apr. 2018 Perfect for settling tailgate bets (and dating yourself as an old Brewers fan). Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "11 new baseball books that will help get you ready for opening day," 22 Mar. 2018 That means fans must drink their fill in advance at local bars or at tailgate gatherings in parking lots. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Vexing NCAA tournament rule will fuel more beer drinking in uptown Charlotte | Charlotte Observer," 16 Mar. 2018 This is tailgate central, where folks picnic and party while teams pass by. Anchorage Daily News, "Here are 6 of the best places to view the Iditarod ceremonial start," 3 Mar. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of tailgate


1854, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1949, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1962, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for tailgate

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for tailgate

The first known use of tailgate was in 1854

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More Definitions for tailgate



Financial Definition of tailgate

What It Is

Tailgating occurs when a broker buys or sells a security after doing the same for a client.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe is a broker for Jane Smith. Jane calls John and tells him she just saw a press release that Company XYZ is bringing in a new hot-shot CEO. She tells him to buy 5,000 shares of Company XYZ for her account. John executes the trade for Jane and then tailgates by buying another 5,000 shares for himself because he has been watching Company XYZ and agrees with Jane that the CEO change should be a good thing for the stockholders.

In some cases, brokers tailgate when the client's order is so large that its execution will affect the price of the security.

Why It Matters

Tailgating is not the same as frontrunning. In frontrunning, the broker executes the trade for his own account before executing the client's trade. In tailgating, the broker executes the trade for his own account after executing the client's trade. Frontrunning is illegal; tailgating is just in poor taste for many reasons, not the least of which is that the broker's job is to make money for his clients and know more than they do.

Source: Investing Answers


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



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

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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on tailgate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tailgate

Spanish Central: Translation of tailgate

Nglish: Translation of tailgate for Spanish Speakers

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