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floodgate

[fluhd-geyt] /ˈflʌdˌgeɪt/
noun
1.
Civil Engineering. a gate designed to regulate the flow of water.
2.
anything serving to control the indiscriminate flow or passage of something.
Origin of floodgate
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English; see flood, gate1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for floodgate

floodgate

/ˈflʌdˌɡeɪt/
noun
1.
Also called head gate, water gate. a gate in a sluice that is used to control the flow of water See also sluicegate
2.
(often pl) a control or barrier against an outpouring or flow: to open the floodgates to immigration
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
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Word Origin and History for floodgate
n.

early 13c. in the figurative sense (especially with reference to tears or rain); literal sense is mid-15c.; from flood (n.) + gate (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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