a control gate at the upstream end of a canal or lock.
a floodgate of a race, sluice, etc.
Origin of head gate
An Americanism dating back to 1830–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for head gate
It was the sodden fleece of the old ewe, which had been drifted against the head-gate and held there to her death.In Exile and Other Stories|Mary Hallock Foote
It was the sodden fleece of the old ewe which had been drifted against the "head-gate," and held there to her death.Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)|Constance Fenimore Woolson
British Dictionary definitions for head gate
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