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, when the 50th anniversary of D-Day arrived in June 1994, the floodgates opened. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Local veteran, 93, earns his high school diploma, 75 years later," 25 Aug. 2019 With that objective in mind, California officials will ask U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali, who is presiding over the PG&E case, not to open the floodgates just yet to various proposals for restructuring the company. J.d. Morris, SFChronicle.com, "Newsom seeks to keep PG&E on track to resolve bankruptcy by June 2020," 24 July 2019 The verdict could open the floodgates to 13,400 other plaintiffs around the world who claim to have been harmed by Roundup. The Economist, "Glyphosate woes prompt calls to split up Bayer," 18 July 2019 Related Articles As much as May might blame himself for opening the floodgates in the seventh inning, the Twins were still within striking distance until Eddie Rosario dropped a routine fly ball in the eighth to keep the Mets alive. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Twins implode in late innings of embarrassing 14-4 loss to Mets," 17 July 2019 When the clock strikes midnight on the West Coast (3 a.m. EST) this Monday, July 15, the floodgates will open. Samantha Gordon, USA TODAY, "6 ways to find the best Prime Day deals—and avoid the bad ones," 12 July 2019 Eric Thames followed with an infield hit that chased Mahle, and the floodgates opened when David Hernandez took over for the Reds. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 8, Reds 6: Christian Yelich becomes first player in club history with 30 HRs before break," 1 July 2019 Horan smashed in the third in the 32nd minute, but the floodgates really opened in the second half as Jill Ellis's side scored four times in six minutes shortly after the restart. chicagotribune.com, "Morgan scores five as USA open World Cup defence with record victory," 11 June 2019 Alexandria went on television to talk about the strike, and the floodgates opened up. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "These young activists are striking to save their planet from climate change," 13 Mar. 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

9 Sep 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

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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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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