floodgate

play
noun flood·gate \ˈfləd-ˌgāt\

Definition of floodgate

  1. 1 :  a gate for shutting out, admitting, or releasing a body of water :  sluice

  2. 2 :  something serving to restrain an outburst <opened the floodgates of criticism>

Origin and Etymology of floodgate

Middle English flodgate


First Known Use: 13th century


FLOODGATE Defined for English Language Learners

floodgate

play
noun flood·gate \ˈfləd-ˌgāt\

Definition of floodgate for English Language Learners

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


Law Dictionary

floodgate

noun flood·gate

Legal Definition of floodgate

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



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