See also: flood-gate and flood gate



From Middle English flodegate, flodgate, flodeyate, floodȝate, flodȝete, equivalent to flood +‎ gate.


  • IPA(key): /ˈflʌdˌɡeɪt/, /ˈflʌdɡeɪt/


floodgate (plural floodgates)

  1. An adjustable gate or valve used to control the flow of water through a sluice.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 31:
      At the start of the Second World War floodgates would be installed at the ends of the under-Thames sections of the Bakerloo and Northern lines to save them from inundation should bombs damage the riverbed.
  2. (by extension) Anything that controls or limits an outpouring of people, emotion etc.
    • 1981 July 26, Sandra Salmans, “Will cable TV be invaded by commercials?”, in New York Times[1]:
      “The floodgates for advertising on cable are down,” says Michael Dann, a leading consultant on cable television.


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