starting gate


: a mechanically operated barrier used as a starting device for a race
: 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 horses will break from posts 1 through 18 in the 20-stall starting gate. Beth Harris, ajc, 6 May 2023 The horses are nearing the paddock and starting gate as the 2023 Kentucky Derby is quickly approaching on Saturday, May 6. Jay Ginsbach, Forbes, 4 May 2023 Since the race began using a starting gate in 1930, more winners have come from Post 5 — 10 victories, including two winners in the past six years in Always Dreaming (2017) and California Chrome (2014) — than any other position. Alexis Cubit, The Courier-Journal, 24 Apr. 2023 During a 2017 and 2018 expedition to find the circus’ starting gates, the first hints of the hidden winery were discovered. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 17 Apr. 2023 If the new rules had been in place then, Medina Spirit might have been kept out of the Derby starting gate because Baffert would have been serving at least a 180-day suspension, and most likely more, for previous infractions, according to the baseline rules. Joe Drape, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2023 The Vista monument would overlook the site of the former raceway, where little remains other than a concrete starting gate pad. Gary Warth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Mar. 2023 Tracks have a starting gate that releases all cars at the same time. Bradley Ford, Popular Mechanics, 12 Jan. 2023 Classic Causeway and Simplificaton have sufficient points to guarantee a berth in the Churchill Downs starting gate on May 7 but the others all probably need at least a second Saturday to make the Run for the Roses. Tom Jicha,, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'starting gate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1893, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of starting gate was in 1893

Dictionary Entries Near starting gate

Cite this Entry

“Starting gate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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