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1. A gate used to control the flow of a body of water. Also called water gate.
2. Something that restrains a flood or outpouring: The ruling opened the floodgates to refugees seeking asylum.


1. (Civil Engineering) Also called: head gate or water gate a gate in a sluice that is used to control the flow of water. See also sluicegate
2. (often plural) a control or barrier against an outpouring or flow: to open the floodgates to immigration.



1. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water.
2. anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.floodgate - something that restrains a flood or outpouringfloodgate - something that restrains a flood or outpouring; "suspension of surveillance opened the floodgates to illegal immigrants"
restraint - a rule or condition that limits freedom; "legal restraints"; "restraints imposed on imports"
2.floodgate - regulator consisting of a valve or gate that controls the rate of water flow through a sluicefloodgate - regulator consisting of a valve or gate that controls the rate of water flow through a sluice
regulator - any of various controls or devices for regulating or controlling fluid flow, pressure, temperature, etc.
sluice, sluiceway, penstock - conduit that carries a rapid flow of water controlled by a sluicegate


[ˈflʌdgeɪt] Ncompuerta f, esclusa f
References in classic literature ?
And it is a remarkable example of the confusion into which the present age has fallen; of the obliteration of landmarks, the opening of floodgates, and the uprooting of distinctions," says Sir Leicester with stately gloom, "that I have been informed by Mr.
From the village school of Chesney Wold, intact as it is this minute, to the whole framework of society; from the whole framework of society, to the aforesaid framework receiving tremendous cracks in consequence of people (iron-masters, lead-mistresses, and what not) not minding their catechism, and getting out of the station unto which they are called--necessarily and for ever, according to Sir Leicester's rapid logic, the first station in which they happen to find themselves; and from that, to their educating other people out of THEIR stations, and so obliterating the landmarks, and opening the floodgates, and all the rest of it; this is the swift progress of the Dedlock mind.
Not a cousin of the batch but is amazed to hear from Sir Leicester at breakfast-time of the obliteration of landmarks, and opening of floodgates, and cracking of the framework of society, manifested through Mrs.
I grasped my whip with more determined energy than before - but still forbore to raise it, and rode on in silence, waiting for some more tangible cause of offence, before I opened the floodgates of my soul and poured out the dammed-up fury that was foaming and swelling within.
Konstantin Levin spoke as though the floodgates of his speech had burst open.
There was a breaking of floodgates, a whirl of new memories and new griefs rushing into his mind.
Louis perceived that he had gone too far; that the gates of the Bastile were still closed upon him, whilst, by degrees, the floodgates were gradually being opened, behind which the generous-hearted Fouquet had restrained his anger.
How the floodgates were opened, and mother and daughter wept, when they were together embracing each other in this sanctuary, may readily be imagined by every reader who possesses the least sentimental turn.
This eloquent discharge opened the floodgates of enthusiasm again, and the election was carried with thundering unanimity.
Associations thus awakened, opened floodgates of sorrow.
Floodgates were loosed within me, and the plain English of our adventure rushed over me as cold as ice.
5) floodgate and the cycling trails along First and Second MacArthur Bridges.