Civil Engineering. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water.
anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something.
Origin of floodgate
word dating back to 1175–1225;
see origin at flood
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for floodgate
Historical Examples of floodgate
He raised the floodgate, and there at last was a way of escape.
And, crestfallen, she went along the passages, and once more out into Floodgate Street.
The dam and floodgate were just beyond the southwestern bastion and the old embankment of the dam can still be traced.
The pond or reservoir above the floodgate is separated from the weir by a stone wall on the left, or south-west side.
The inventor of the damper register opened a floodgate to such aliquot re-enforcement as can be got in no other way.
British Dictionary definitions for floodgate
Also called: head gate, water gate a gate in a sluice that is used to control the flow of waterSee also sluicegate
(often plural) a control or barrier against an outpouring or flowto open the floodgates to immigration
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for floodgate
early 13c. in the figurative sense (especially with reference to tears or rain); literal sense is mid-15c.; from flood (n.) + gate (n.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper