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drawing board

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noun
  1. a rectangular board on which paper is placed or mounted for drawing or drafting.
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Idioms
  1. back to the drawing board, back to the original or an earlier stage of planning or development: Our plan didn't work out, so it's back to the drawing board.
  2. on the drawing board, in the planning or design stage: The shopping center is still on the drawing board.
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Origin of drawing board

First recorded in 1715–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for back to the drawing board

drawing board

noun
  1. a smooth flat rectangular board on which paper, canvas, etc, is placed for making drawings
  2. back to the drawing board return to an earlier stage in an enterprise because a planned undertaking has failed
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

back to the drawing board in Culture

back to the drawing board

A saying indicating that one's effort has failed, and one must start all over again: “The new package we designed hasn't increased our sales as we'd hoped, so it's back to the drawing board.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with back to the drawing board

back to the drawing board

Also, back to square one. Back to the beginning because the current attempt was unsuccessful, as in When the town refused to fund our music program, we had to go back to the drawing board, or I've assembled this wrong side up, so it's back to square one. The first term originated during World War II, most likely from the caption of a cartoon by Peter Arno in The New Yorker magazine. It pictured a man who held a set of blueprints and was watching an airplane explode. The variant is thought to come from a board game or street game where an unlucky throw of dice or a marker sends the player back to the beginning of the course. It was popularized by British sports-casters in the 1930s, when the printed radio program included a grid with numbered squares to help listeners follow the description of a soccer game.

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drawing board

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