a) An adjustable gate or valve used to control the flow of water through a sluice.
b) Anything that controls or limits an outpouring of people, emotion etc.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • floodgate — flood·gate n: something serving to restrain an outburst (as of litigation) usu. used in pl. a decision that will open the floodgates for other claims Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • floodgate — early 13c. in the figurative sense (especially with reference to tears or rain); literal sense is mid 15c.; from FLOOD (Cf. flood) + GATE (Cf. gate) …   Etymology dictionary

  • floodgate — ► NOUN 1) a gate that can be opened or closed to admit or exclude water, especially the lower gate of a lock. 2) (the floodgates) last restraints holding back a powerful outpouring …   English terms dictionary

  • floodgate — [flud′gāt΄] n. 1. a gate in a stream or canal, to control the height and flow of the water; sluice 2. anything like this in controlling a flow or an outburst …   English World dictionary

  • Floodgate — Tokyo floodgates created to protect from typhoon surges Floodgates are adjustable gates used to control water flow in flood barriers, reservoir, river, stream, or levee systems. They may be designed to set spillway crest heights in dams, to… …   Wikipedia

  • Floodgate — This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo Saxon origin, and was originally given either as a metonymic occupational name to a keeper of the floodgate, or a topographical name to one resident by such a gate. The derivation is from the Olde… …   Surnames reference

  • floodgate — UK [ˈflʌdˌɡeɪt] / US noun [countable] Word forms floodgate : singular floodgate plural floodgates a gate that controls a flow of water in a river or lake • open the floodgates …   English dictionary

  • floodgate — noun Etymology: Middle English flodgate Date: 13th century 1. a gate for shutting out, admitting, or releasing a body of water ; sluice 2. something serving to restrain an outburst < opened the floodgates of criticism > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • floodgate — /flud gayt /, n. 1. Civ. Engin. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water. 2. anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something. [1175 1225; ME; see FLOOD, GATE] * * * ▪ engineering  gate for shutting out or… …   Universalium

  • floodgate — Synonyms and related words: aboideau, air lock, avenue, blowhole, channel, chute, debouch, dock gate, door, egress, emunctory, escape, estuary, exhaust, exit, flood hatch, flume, gate, head gate, lock, lock gate, loophole, opening, out, outcome,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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