Nearby words

  1. tailbone,
  2. tailcoat,
  3. tailed,
  4. tailed frog,
  5. tailfirst,
  6. tailgater,
  7. tailing,
  8. tailings,
  9. taille,
  10. tailleferre

Origin of tailgate

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; tail1 + gate1



noun Jazz.

a style of playing the trombone, especially in Dixieland jazz, distinguished especially by the use of melodic counterpoint and long glissandi.

Origin of tailgate

First recorded in 1945–50; so called from the usual seat of trombonists in trucks carrying musicians during a parade Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tailgate

British Dictionary definitions for tailgate



another name for tailboard
a door at the rear of a hatchback vehicle


to drive very close behind (a vehicle)
Derived Formstailgater, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for tailgate



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper