flood·​gate | \ ˈfləd-ˌgāt How to pronounce floodgate (audio) \

Definition of floodgate

1 : a gate for shutting out, admitting, or releasing a body of water : sluice
2 : something serving to restrain an outburst opened the floodgates of criticism

Examples of floodgate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At the same time the decision opens up the floodgates for political action committees, or PACs, which had long been on the scene but largely on the left. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Political Division? That’s Nothing New," 7 Mar. 2019 By sharing their closely held internal information with the public, as companies do in their SEC filings, Uber and Lyft will reveal how much they profit while gig workers fight for rights, which could open the floodgates for change. Chavie Lieber, Vox, "Uber and Lyft are racing each other to go public. Here’s why.," 12 Dec. 2018 And, even though the twins’ DNA was modified to protect against a deadly disease, such an experiment, experts said, could open the floodgates for others designed for different purposes, such as genetically enhancing future generations. Preetika Rana, WSJ, "Second Woman Implanted With Genetically Modified Embryo, Scientist Says," 28 Nov. 2018 However, legal experts cautioned that Leon’s ruling would not open the floodgates for mergers. Ryan Faughnder, latimes.com, "AT&T-Time Warner ruling gives a green light to media companies to consolidate," 13 June 2018 The opening of the floodgates for these bold new progressive bills has been, at least in part, a result of the freedom created by Trump and the GOP's grip on Congress. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "There's a new Democratic agenda taking shape. It's more and more progressive. Can it survive success?," 30 Apr. 2018 The last of the floodgates were removed Tuesday from the Estabrook Park dam on the Milwaukee River as the 80-year-old wall of concrete was reduced to rubble. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Estabrook Park dam floodgates fall to demolition crew," 18 Apr. 2018 The causeway is lined with a series of floodgates designed in 1932 by Dirk Roosenburg – monumental structures that have since fallen into disrepair. Tf Chan, Fortune, "'Let's Be Curious.' Artist Daan Roosegaarde Says Design Must Be Inspired by Nature," 8 Mar. 2018 Clearly the 26-year-old has good finishing instincts, and maybe his goal against Burnley will serve as an opener of the floodgates. SI.com, "Cenk Tosun Insists He's Settling Into 'Difficult' English Football After Goal Against Burnley," 4 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'floodgate.' 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 floodgate

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for floodgate

Middle English flodgate

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Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for floodgate

The first known use of floodgate was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for floodgate



English Language Learners Definition of floodgate

: a gate for controlling the flow of water from a lake, river, reservoir, etc.



Legal Definition of floodgate

: something serving to restrain an outburst (as of litigation) usually used in pl. a decision that will open the floodgates for other claims

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with floodgate

Spanish Central: Translation of floodgate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about floodgate

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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