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

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 The normal Churchill Downs starting gate has stalls for 14 horses; for the Kentucky Derby, an auxiliary gate with posts 15-20 is attached to the right of the main gate. Danielle Lerner, The Courier-Journal, "Is winning the Kentucky Derby from the auxiliary gate really so hard?," 4 May 2018 Barring a late scratch, the horse now known as Mendelssohn will enter the Kentucky Derby starting gate as the third most expensive horse ever sold at public auction to run in the race. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Derby hopeful Mendelssohn has the look and genes of a winner," 3 May 2018 The queasiness took hold on race days, just before the U.S. Alpine ski star was about to enter the start gate. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Olympic ski star Mikaela Shiffrin felt like she'd throw up before races," 11 Feb. 2018 The main starting gate holds 14 horses and a six-stall auxiliary gate is attached., "Ross: Discussion With EU's Malmstrom Will Continue Over Tariffs," 1 May 2018 With the Derby only seven weeks away, chances for horses to earn points in major preps – and a place in the Churchill Downs starting gate – are quickly dwindling. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "These horses emerged as Kentucky Derby favorites after an epic duel in California | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Mar. 2018 Then Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, the 26th racer to leave the start gate, dashed down the hill. New York Times, "Moments Large and Small in a Memorable Olympics," 25 Feb. 2018 The four racers who made the team trained together, meeting up for a week at time in Park City or Argentina, building start gates and maintaining the courses themselves. Adam Kilgore, Anchorage Daily News, "‘A bunch of idiots having fun’: U.S. snowboard cross team nearly grabs Olympic medal," 16 Feb. 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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The first known use of starting gate was in 1893

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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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occurring twice a year or every two years

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