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
Recent Examples of floodgate from the Web
Chase Elliott set a new track record of 25.06 seconds at 189.434 mph in the first round of qualifying, but his lap only served to open the floodgates for the previous track record of 28.60 at 188.791, set by Brad Keselowski in 2014, to be shattered.
The floodgates may already have opened, and we just don’t know it yet.
Now, at long last, the Academy is doing something to change that — not exactly opening the floodgates to the hoi polloi, but at least loosening its boys’ club tie in order to dress itself as something altogether more modern and fashionable.
This could open the floodgates for hundreds of millions of dollars in digital currency to enter the mainstream economy.
TCU third baseman Elliott Barzilli opened the floodgates with a two-out single through the right side, then stole second and third base.
The assumption was that the floodgates would have opened around 2009, when the Notorious B.I.G. biopic Notorious arrived.
Remember, these are massive, massive networks of ice that can't really be thought of as one homogenous, unchanging object. If these shelves are weakened, the could crack and break off, and that would open the floodgates -- literally.
Three large iron floodgates are raised and lowered according to conditions.
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.
Origin and Etymology of floodgate
Middle English flodgate
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
FLOODGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of floodgate for English Language Learners
: 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 plural a decision that will open the floodgates for other claims
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up floodgate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).