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[uh-buhv-bawrd, -bohrd] /əˈbʌvˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd/
adverb, adjective
in open sight; without tricks, concealment, or disguise:
Their actions are open and aboveboard.
Origin of aboveboard
1610-20; above + board; so called from the requirement of keeping the hands above the table or board in order to discourage possible cheating at cards
honest, straightforward.
devious, underhanded, sneaky. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for aboveboard
Historical Examples
  • Such espionage pointed to something that was not quite open and aboveboard.

    The Night Riders Ridgwell Cullum
  • They were things that didn't seem—what you would call square and aboveboard.

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • Must be willing to Work and Keep House shipshape and aboveboard.

    Cap'n Eri Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • And yet, if it was all aboveboard, he wouldn't have said that!

    The Giant's Robe F. Anstey
  • Fundamental bent toward what is clean, manly and aboveboard!

    Face to Face with Kaiserism

    James W. Gerard
  • I like the youth who is open and aboveboard, who says what he means and who is frank and fearless.

    Motor Matt's Clue Stanley R. Matthews
  • Everything open and aboveboard, say I,—there's no occasion for mystery.

    The Wizard of West Penwith William Bentinck Forfar
  • All this is fair and aboveboard and individual and progressive.

    Principles of Political Economy

    Arthur Latham Perry
  • In these matters I believe in being absolutely frank and aboveboard.

    Europe Revised Irvin S. Cobb
  • Best way, as far as I see, is to be open and aboveboard and firm.

Word Origin and History for aboveboard

1610s, from above and board (n.1). "A figurative expression borrowed from gamesters, who, when they put their hands under the table, are changing their cards." [Johnson]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with aboveboard


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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