starting gate


Definition of starting gate

1 : a mechanically operated barrier used as a starting device for a race
2 : a barrier that when knocked aside by a competitor (such as a skier) starts an electronic timing device

Examples of starting gate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Eagles have left the district starting gates with an 0-2 record, falling to rival Dobie 52-42, followed by a 75-46 loss to powerhouse Atascocita. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "After 0-2 district start, Pasadena in need of better consistency," 19 Dec. 2019 Deer Park then roared out of the third period starting gates, netting the opening 11 points. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Spring JV ruins chance at all-Deer Park semifinal showdown in tourney," 29 Nov. 2019 The Everest is inspired by the lucrative Pegasus World Cup -- formerly the world's richest race -- and requires owners to buy one of the 12 starting gates for about $400,000. CNN, "Yes Yes Yes wins The Everest and scoops record $4.8 million prize," 19 Oct. 2019 The draw to decide which horse is placed in which starting gate was conducted in breathtaking fashion with the jockey's colors beamed onto Sydney Harbour Bridge. Ben Church, CNN, "The Everest: return of world's richest turf race with about $10M up for grabs," 17 Oct. 2019 By this weekend at Churchill Downs, the 144th Kentucky Derby starting gates will bustle with horses and themes, maybe even more than usual. Chuck Culpepper,, "Scat Daddy, sire who died in 2015, dominates Kentucky Derby field in 2018," 5 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starting gate.' 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 starting gate

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for starting gate

Time Traveler

The first known use of starting gate was in 1893

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Statistics for starting gate

Last Updated

3 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Starting gate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for starting gate

starting gate


English Language Learners Definition of starting gate

: a gate or set of gates that opens at the start of a horse or dog race to let the animals begin racing

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starting gate

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