- 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. 2018
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.Stories by American Authors (Volume 4)
Constance Fenimore Woolson
All of the drops, as well as the head-gate and flood weirs, were finished, standing as if hewn out of solid white stone.The Iron Furrow
George C. Shedd
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