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Definition of tailgate
a hinged flap at the back of a truck that can be lowered or removed when loading or unloading the vehicle. the door at the back of a station wagon. [as modifier] relating to or denoting an informal meal served from the back of a parked vehicle, typically in the parking lot of a sports stadium:a tailgate lunch they turned the parking lot into a huge tailgate party [as modifier] denoting a style of jazz trombone playing characterized by improvisation in the manner of the early New Orleans musicians.
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 gain 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 2 [no object] eat an informal meal served from the back of a parked vehicle: Lot 16E is reserved for alumni who wish to tailgate before the game