open the floodgates

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open the floodgates

to make it possible for something to happen The court's decision could open the floodgates for large numbers of other cases involving war crimes.
Usage notes: usually used to describe activities that had been difficult or illegal but which are now easier or allowed and expected to be done by many
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of open the floodgates (to allow water that had been held back to flow freely)
See also: open

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 (often + to ) If they win their case it could open the floodgates to others with similar compensation claims.
See also: open
References in periodicals archive ?
Many of the in Birmingham away from Floodgate damned criminal Many of the in Birmingham away from Floodgate damned criminal When a new baby was born, "my tears come at this stage because I see myself carrying up a bowl of water, soap and towels and helping my Mom wash the younger ones".
In total, the new lane will have 16 floodgates, eight on the Pacific Ocean side, and eight on the Atlantic side.
One EWEB official has said there are concerns about possible flooding if a major storm were to arrive, or the third floodgate were to fail before the repairs on the first floodgate are completed by mid-January.
The rush of waters from the floodgate will likely sink an area of 3,000 square miles, at a depth of 25 feet in some places.
A large floodgate project in Japan costs billions of yen, and the annual market is estimated at 60-70 billion yen.
One of the ways Floodgate is selling the idea to retailers is by highlighting the benefit to the retailer of receiving a wealth of information about the retailers customer service programs.
To date, the primary method to predict the potential impacts of tidal flows on drainage systems involves short-term floodgate openings and sandbagging of suspected overtopping hotspots.
FAIR contends that increasing the number of asylum grants could potentially open the floodgates to a host of illegal immigrants, something that Karen Musalo, director of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies in San Francisco, disagrees with.
In addition to official facilities such as the Floodgate Street Board School, a number of charities focused on the area.
Flooding also could occur with a less severe storm if the third floodgate were to malfunction before the contractor finishes repairs to the No.
Icon Labs, says that its Floodgate embedded software solution has received "McAfee Compatible" status.
TM) (CSS), one of the nation's leading sellers of residential solar power systems, announced today that it has received Series A funding from FLOODGATE, a seed stage venture capital firm with deep expertise in consumer and enterprise software.
Floodgate has developed a product that comprises an expandable steel frame that can be quickly fitted into a doorway or opening to act as a barrier against water intrusion.
Residents were also badly hit, including those in Mill Street, who say water seeped under a newly-installed floodgate at Chapel Beck.
My wife and I are sick with worry that we could be flooded again if we don't get a floodgate.