floodgate

noun
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 Forever, George Broussard and Scott Miller, have responded to the leak by opening up a floodgate of resentment and bickering. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 12 May 2022 Rather, most of the sports world pinpoints the cancellation floodgate to March 11, when an NBA game in Oklahoma City, between the Thunder and the Utah Jazz, was dramatically called off moments before tipoff. NBC News, 4 Mar. 2022 In 2010, when a key Supreme Court decision opened a floodgate for campaign donations, Mr. Caddle became an even more sophisticated soldier, skilled in the opaque art of the super PAC. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2022 There was a crane that could raise the emergency floodgate, but it, too, had been damaged by fighting. New York Times, 20 Jan. 2022 And in the Feather River Basin, on California's Yuba River, water managers are considering a second, smaller floodgate to buffer New Bullards Bar Dam. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 4 Dec. 2021 In just a few days Vides was contacted by Jordan Shoes to work on a project, and the floodgate opened for commissions and requests to collaborate. Selene Rivera Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Oct. 2021 With the delta variant of Covid-19 surging, the floodgate has opened with companies allowing employees to stay home. Chris Depuy, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 Plaquemines Parish fails Shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, Plaquemines Parish posted on Facebook that the Alliance to Oakville floodgate had failed near Highway 23 in the town of Alliance. USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of floodgate

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for floodgate

Middle English flodgate

Learn More About floodgate

Time Traveler for floodgate

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near floodgate

flood fallowing

floodgate

flood gull

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for floodgate

Cite this Entry

“Floodgate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/floodgate. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for floodgate

floodgate

noun
flood·​gate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on floodgate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for floodgate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about floodgate

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!