Meaning of “open the floodgates” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"open the floodgates" in British English

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open the floodgates

If an action or a decision opens the floodgates, it allows something to happen a lot or allows many people to do something that was not previously allowed:

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 great numbers:

The court's decision could open the floodgates for many similar cases.

(Definition of “open the floodgates” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)