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Definitions by Wordnik

  1. (noun) A hinged board or closure at the rear of a vehicle, such as a pick-up truck, that can be lowered during loading and unloading. Also called tailboard.
  2. (noun) One of the pair of gates downstream in a canal lock.
  3. (verb-transitive) To drive so closely behind (another vehicle) that one cannot stop or swerve with ease in an emergency.
  4. (verb-transitive) Slang To follow closely behind (another person), as in gaining access to an area requiring the use of an electronic identification card.
  5. (verb-intransitive) To follow another vehicle too closely.
  6. (verb-intransitive) To participate in a picnic that is served from the tailgate of a vehicle, as before a sports event.

Examples by Wordnik

  1. My tailgate is always up with a dead animal in the back. - You have killed a deer and are hauling it home in the back of your pick up truck. Tailgate up or down?
  2. With months to go in tailgate season, if you are decked out from head-to-toe in team regalia but feel there’s still something missing, maybe what you need is a gargantuan rig shaped exactly like a football. - Smoke Signals: Get your game grill on
  3. "It's an honor to be invited into someone's home to eat, and the tailgate is the home brought to the parking lot," he says. - The Top Tailgating Towns
  4. In our Road Test of the crossover SUV, we noted that “many testers complained about the tailgate, which is awkward to grasp and heavy to lift and lower.” - Ford Edge: Give it a hand
  5. A tailgate is a precursor to the big game, so organize one. - The Swell Dressed Party


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