Meaning of tailback in English:


Pronunciation /ˈteɪlbak/

See synonyms for tailback

Translate tailback into Spanish


  • 1British A long queue of stationary or slow-moving traffic extending back from a busy junction or similar obstruction on the road.

    ‘tailbacks affected all roads into Leeds’
    • ‘These buses stop the traffic and cause tailbacks down Tadcaster Road every day as they turn left from the middle lane on Blossom Street.’
    • ‘While the main roads were passible, cautious drivers spend twice as long on the road due to tailbacks and traffic accidents.’
    • ‘Massive tailbacks and traffic jams were again expected to clog up Britain's roads today as families head back home after the great Bank Holiday exodus.’
    • ‘Traffic volume created problems at the Levens bottleneck, with long tailbacks on the Ulverston Road as traffic poured in and out of the Cartmel peninsula.’
    • ‘The work has caused a great deal of disruption and the closing off of the traffic lights in the centre has meant long tailbacks on all the roads into the town.’
    • ‘Traffic was diverted on to minor roads, causing tailbacks in the evening rush-hour as workers made their way home.’
    • ‘Frustrated motorists queued in lengthy tailbacks as a two-week scheme to rip up and resurface Gillygate got under way.’
    • ‘Motorists were caught up in long traffic tailbacks after an accident caused chaos on the motorway and led to traffic congestion on main routes through Kendal.’
    • ‘There were road works causing massive tailbacks on the A64 to Scarborough last Tuesday.’
    • ‘In spite of the long tailbacks of traffic, caused by the exiting of so many people from the city at the same time, there appeared to be no rush, everyone seemed to be calm, tolerant and more patient than one might have expected.’
    • ‘Contraflows and single-lane traffic have caused major tailbacks since the work to build an underpass at Copmathorpe began last summer, with severe congestion again at the weekend.’
    • ‘The event, which ran from Friday to Sunday, was expected to attract 110,000 people with police predicting long traffic tailbacks.’
    • ‘Long traffic tailbacks were reported behind the heavy goods vehicle taking a huge cylindrical pipe to the British Gas terminal in Barrow.’
    • ‘Commuting times for workers more than doubled as huge tailbacks and diversions brought traffic to a halt.’
    • ‘There were traffic tailbacks stretching for half a mile as cars waited for the police to reopen the road.’
    • ‘The lorry, carrying gallons of orange juice, broke down just after 11 am yesterday, shedding its entire load on to the carriageway and triggering a nightmare tailback of traffic.’
    • ‘The restrictions, sometimes accompanied by single-lane contraflows, have caused lengthy tailbacks at busy times.’
    • ‘Diversions left early morning motorists facing huge tailbacks and the gridlock is expected to continue tonight.’
    • ‘Although regular users of the toll bridge can already pay electronically by having a pass card, it still requires cars to stop briefly at the barrier, thereby causing traffic tailbacks.’
    • ‘Residents in Passage East are enduring another summer of discontent due to traffic tailbacks approaching the local car ferry.’
    traffic jam, file
    View synonyms
  • 2American Football
    The offensive back stationed furthest from the line of scrimmage.

    ‘Ginn will line up at wide receiver, tailback and quarterback and return kicks - all in the name of getting more touches.’
    • ‘On Bush's first touchdown reception, he lined up at tailback, but tight end Dominique Byrd was also in the backfield, creating a dilemma for the defense.’
    • ‘On probably 75 percent of its running plays, Ohio State wants to run to the weak side of the offensive line, allowing the tailback to cut back to the strong side.’
    • ‘Peppers played tailback and defensive end, all the while keeping up with his basketball career.’
    • ‘He has been a tailback, a wide receiver and a part-time quarterback.’