open the floodgates Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “open the floodgates” in the English Dictionary

"open the floodgates" in British English

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open the floodgates

If an ​action or a ​decisionopens the ​floodgates, it ​allows something to ​happen a lot or ​allows many ​people to do something that was not ​previouslyallowed: Officials are ​worried that ​allowing these ​refugees into the ​country will ​open the ​floodgates to thousands more.
(Definition of open the floodgates from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"open the floodgates" in American English

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open the floodgates

to make it ​possible for something to ​happen in ​greatnumbers: The court's ​decision could open the floodgates for many ​similarcases.
(Definition of open the floodgates from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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