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

Then Auburn’s offer opened the floodgates from other schools. Sam Blum | Sblum@al.com, al.com, "Bryce Brown is changing who he was at Auburn in hopes of making it in NBA," 19 June 2019 Indeed, order is still highly valued, even if opening the floodgates to ideas invites a certain level of disruption. Peg Tyre, BostonGlobe.com, "How to survive in an AI world," 13 June 2019 For a sign who’s perpetually poised to open the floodgates and be carried on a dream cloud of universal oneness, this actually offers a slightly different flavor of fusion. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes September 17-23," 10 Sep. 2016 SpaceX finally accomplished that feat in September 2008, opening the floodgates of private investment. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Video: “Delta V,” our new series on all the happenings in the heavens, is live," 20 Sep. 2018 In recent years, the dam between uptown and downtown has started to spring a leak or two—and this season, the floodgates have opened. Adam Green, Vogue, "Meet the Playwrights, Actors, and Directors Radically Reshaping Broadway," 13 May 2019 If the river keeps rising, at 29 feet, parts of Utica, Indiana, flood and typically MSD would erect its 10th and 27th street floodgates. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Horseshoe Southern Indiana reopening hotel and spa as Ohio River recedes," 21 Feb. 2018 Investor focus now turns to the U.S. Treasury, which opens its auction floodgates this week, beginning with $151 billion of short-term bills on Tuesday. Bloomberg News, Houston Chronicle, "Asian shares close lower as U.S. market takes a holiday," 19 Feb. 2018 But there are plenty of anecdotal indications that the floodgates briefly opened when U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez overturned the state’s nearly 20-year-old ban late last month. Don Thompson, The Seattle Times, "Gun groups: Million-plus extended magazines flood California," 11 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for floodgate

Last Updated

1 Jul 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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More from Merriam-Webster on floodgate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with floodgate

Spanish Central: Translation of floodgate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about floodgate

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