Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for aboveboard
Historical Examples
  • He knows that he's followed, all right, and he's cagy enough to keep in the open and pretend to be aboveboard.

    On Secret Service William Nelson Taft
  • Fundamental bent toward what is clean, manly and aboveboard!

    Face to Face with Kaiserism James W. Gerard
  • "Since things are aboveboard—listen here," said Greenfield with sudden seriousness.

    Murder in Any Degree Owen Johnson
  • They were things that didn't seem—what you would call square and aboveboard.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • And for the first time the knight was conscious of a curious feeling that all was not square and aboveboard in this castle.

    The Man Upstairs P. G. Wodehouse
  • 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
  • And you'll give me credit for being fair and aboveboard with you.

    The Real Man Francis Lynde
  • Everything open and aboveboard, say I,—there's no occasion for mystery.

    The Wizard of West Penwith William Bentinck Forfar
  • The underhand scheme ran counter to the aboveboard principles of the scout law which he had sworn to obey; of that he felt sure.

    A Scout of To-day Isabel Hornibrook
  • All this is fair and aboveboard and individual and progressive.

    Principles of Political Economy Arthur Latham Perry
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
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with aboveboard


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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for aboveboard

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for aboveboard

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for aboveboard