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
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - West operates, maintains and inspects the area's floodgate and levee systems.
After two or three of the bigger numbers, the floodgates burst open and remained open through the credits and beyond.
In Season 3, the floodgates opened, weirdly and wonderfully.
The one run didn’t initially open the floodgates for more.
The next day, Chris walked to the car with his wife, who was fending off the floodgates.
The Tidal Basin is a reservoir with two sets of floodgates that open in turn as the tidal Potomac rises and falls, flushing silt and debris from the Washington Channel.
Sega has opened the floodgates, and all sorts of information about Samba de Amigo has burst forth, including the track listing, first downloadable content, and plastic maraca shells.
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 century
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
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