• synonyms


[ fluhd-geyt ]
/ ˈflʌdˌgeɪt /


Civil Engineering. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water.
anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something.

Nearby words

flood plain, flood tide, flood wall, flooded gum, flooders, floodgate, floodgates, flooding, floodlight, floodlight projector, floodplain

Origin of floodgate

Middle English word dating back to 1175–1225; see origin at flood, gate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for floodgate

British Dictionary definitions for floodgate


/ (ˈflʌdˌɡeɪt) /


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