verb (used with object), gat·ed, gat·ing.

(at British universities) to punish by confining to the college grounds.
  1. to control the operation of (an electronic device) by means of a gate.
  2. to select the parts of (a wave signal) that are within a certain range of amplitude or within certain time intervals.

verb (used without object), gat·ed, gat·ing.

Metallurgy. to make or use a gate.


    get the gate, Slang. to be dismissed, sent away, or rejected.
    give (someone) the gate, Slang.
    1. to reject (a person), as one's fiancé, lover, or friend.
    2. to dismiss from one's employ: They gave him the gate because he was caught stealing.

Origin of gate

before 900; Middle English gat, gate, Old English geat (plural gatu); cognate with Low German, Dutch gat hole, breach; cf. gate2
Can be confusedgait gate




Archaic. a path; way.
North England and Scot.. habitual manner or way of acting.

Origin of gate

1150–1200; Middle English < Old Norse gata path; perhaps akin to Old English geat gate1; cf. gat3


a combining form extracted from Watergate, occurring as the final element in journalistic coinages, usually nonce words, that name scandals resulting from concealed crime or other alleged improprieties in government or business: Koreagate. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gate

Contemporary Examples of gate

Historical Examples of gate

  • They arrived at the gate without question or hindrance; but found it fastened.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Over the gate was written in large letters, 'The Entrance of Mortals.'


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Only Ambrose was, at parting for the night, obliged to ask him for the key of the gate.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • And the clipped privet bush by the trellis and the may tree by the gate.

  • Next day he called at the gate, on horseback, to inquire for mistress.

    To be Read at Dusk

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for gate




a movable barrier, usually hinged, for closing an opening in a wall, fence, etc
an opening to allow passage into or out of an enclosed place
any means of entrance or access
a mountain pass or gap, esp one providing entry into another country or region
  1. the number of people admitted to a sporting event or entertainment
  2. the total entrance money received from them
(in a large airport) any of the numbered exits leading to the airfield or aircraftpassengers for Paris should proceed to gate 14
horse racing short for starting gate
  1. a logic circuit having one or more input terminals and one output terminal, the output being switched between two voltage levels determined by the combination of input signals
  2. a circuit used in radar that allows only a fraction of the input signal to pass
the electrode region or regions in a field-effect transistor that is biased to control the conductivity of the channel between the source and drain
a component in a motion-picture camera or projector that holds each frame flat and momentarily stationary behind the lens
a slotted metal frame that controls the positions of the gear lever in a motor vehicle
rowing a hinged clasp to prevent the oar from jumping out of a rowlock
a frame surrounding the blade or blades of a saw

verb (tr)

to provide with a gate or gates
British to restrict (a student) to the school or college grounds as a punishment
to select (part of a waveform) in terms of amplitude or time
Derived Formsgateless, adjectivegatelike, adjective

Word Origin for gate

Old English geat; related to Old Frisian jet opening, Old Norse gat opening, passage



noun dialect

the channels by which molten metal is poured into a mould
the metal that solidifies in such channels

Word Origin for gate

C17: probably related to Old English gyte a pouring out, geotan to pour



noun Scot and Northern English dialect

a way, road, street, or path
a way or method of doing something

Word Origin for gate

C13: from Old Norse gata path; related to Old High German gazza road, street


n combining form

indicating a person or thing that has been the cause of, or is associated with, a public scandalIrangate; Camillagate

Word Origin for -gate

C20: on the analogy of Watergate
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 gate

"opening, entrance," Old English geat (plural geatu) "gate, door, opening, passage, hinged framework barrier," from Proto-Germanic *gatan (cf. Old Norse gat "opening, passage," Old Saxon gat "eye of a needle, hole," Old Frisian gat "hole, opening," Dutch gat "gap, hole, breach," German Gasse "street"), of unknown origin. Meaning "money collected from selling tickets" dates from 1896 (short for gate money, 1820). Gate-crasher is from 1927. Finnish katu, Lettish gatua "street" are Germanic loan-words.


"provide with a gate," 1906, from gate (n.). Originally of moulds. Related: Gated (1620s). Gated community recorded by 1989 (earliest reference to Emerald Bay, Laguna Beach, Calif.


suffix attached to any word to indicate "scandal involving," 1973, abstracted from Watergate, the Washington, D.C., building complex, home of the National Headquarters of the Democratic Party when it was burglarized June 17, 1972, by operatives later found to be working for the staff and re-election campaign of U.S. President Richard Nixon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with gate


see crash the gate; give someone the air (gate).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.