[ bawrd, bohrd ]
See synonyms for: boardboardedboardingboards on

  1. a piece of wood sawed thin, and of considerable length and breadth compared with the thickness.

  2. a flat slab of wood or other material for some specific purpose: a cutting board.

  1. a sheet of wood, cardboard, paper, etc., with or without markings, for some special use, as a checkerboard or chessboard.

  2. boards,

    • Theater. the stage: The play will go on the boards next week.

    • the wooden fence surrounding the playing area of an ice-hockey rink.

    • a racing course made of wood, used especially in track meets held indoors: his first time running on boards.

  3. Bookbinding. stiff cardboard or other material covered with paper, cloth, or the like to form the covers for a book.

  4. Building Trades. composition material made in large sheets, as plasterboard or corkboard.

  5. a table, especially to serve food on.

  6. daily meals, especially as provided for pay: twenty dollars a day for room and board.

  7. an official group of persons who direct or supervise some activity: a board of directors.

  8. Nautical.

    • the side of a ship.

    • one leg, or tack, of the course of a ship beating to windward.

  9. Railroads. a fixed signal or permanent sign regulating traffic.

  10. a flat surface, as a wall or an object of rectangular shape, on which something is posted, as notices or stock-market quotations: a bulletin board.

  11. Computers.

  12. Electronics. circuit board (def. 2).

  13. a switchboard.

  14. Australian.

    • the area of a woolshed where shearing is done.

    • a crew of shearers working in a particular woolshed.

    • sheep about to be sheared.

  15. Obsolete. the edge, border, or side of anything.

verb (used with object)
  1. to cover or close with boards (often followed by up or over): to board up a house; to board over a well.

  2. to furnish with meals, or with meals and lodging, especially for pay: They boarded him for $50 a week.

  1. to go on board of or enter (a ship, train, etc.).

  2. to allow on board: We will be boarding passengers in approximately ten minutes.

  3. to come up alongside (a ship), as to attack or to go on board: The pirate ship boarded the clipper.

  4. Obsolete. to approach; accost.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take one's meals, or be supplied with food and lodging at a fixed price: Several of us board at the same rooming house.

  2. Ice Hockey. to hit an opposing player with a board check.

Idioms about board

  1. across the board,

    • Racing. betting on a horse or dog to finish first, second, or third, so that any result where a selection wins, places, or shows enables the bettor to collect.

    • applying to or affecting every person, class, group, etc.

  2. go by the board,

    • to go over the ship's side.

    • to be destroyed, neglected, or forgotten: All his devoted labor went by the board.

  1. on board, : Also aboard .

    • on or in a ship, plane, or other vehicle: There were several movie stars on board traveling incognito.

    • Baseball. on base: There were two men on board as the next batter came up.

    • present and functioning as a member of a team or organization.

  2. on the boards, in the theatrical profession: The family has been on the boards since grandfather's time.

  3. tread the boards. tread (def. 23).

Origin of board

First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English bord “board, table, shield”; cognate with Dutch boord “board,” bord “plate,” German Bort, Old Norse borth, Gothic -baurd

Other words from board

  • board·a·ble, adjective
  • boardlike, adjective
  • re·board, verb (used with object)
  • un·board·ed, adjective

Words that may be confused with board

Words Nearby board Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use board in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for board


/ (bɔːd) /

  1. a long wide flat relatively thin piece of sawn timber

    • a smaller flat piece of rigid material for a specific purpose: ironing board

    • (in combination): breadboard; cheeseboard

  1. a person's food or meals, provided regularly for money or sometimes as payment for work done (esp in the phrases full board, board and lodging)

  2. archaic a table, esp one used for eating at, and esp when laden with food

    • (sometimes functioning as plural) a group of people who officially administer a company, trust, etc: a board of directors

    • (as modifier): a board meeting

  3. any other committee or council: a board of interviewers

  4. the boards (plural) the acting profession; the stage

  5. stiff cardboard or similar material covered with paper, cloth, etc, used for the outside covers of a book

  6. a flat thin rectangular sheet of composite material, such as plasterboard or chipboard

  7. mainly US

    • a list on which stock-exchange securities and their prices are posted

    • informal the stock exchange itself

  8. nautical

    • the side of a ship

    • the leg that a sailing vessel makes on a beat to windward

  9. Australian and NZ the part of the floor of a sheep-shearing shed, esp a raised part, where the shearers work

  10. NZ the killing floor of an abattoir or freezing works

    • any of various portable surfaces specially designed for indoor games such as chess, backgammon, etc

    • (as modifier): board games

    • a set of hands in duplicate bridge

    • a wooden or metal board containing four slots, or often nowadays, a plastic wallet, in which the four hands are placed so that the deal may be replayed with identical hands

  11. the hull of a sailboard, usually made of plastic, to which the mast is jointed and on which a windsurfer stands

  12. go by the board to be in disuse, neglected, or lost: in these days courtesy goes by the board

  13. on board on or in a ship, boat, aeroplane, or other vehicle

  14. sweep the board

    • (in gambling) to win all the cards or money

    • to win every event or prize in a contest

  15. take on board to accept (new ideas, situations, theories, etc)

  1. to go aboard (a vessel, train, aircraft, or other vehicle)

  2. nautical to come alongside (a vessel) before attacking or going aboard

  1. to attack (a ship) by forcing one's way aboard

  2. (tr; often foll by up, in, etc) to cover or shut with boards

  3. (intr) to give or receive meals or meals and lodging in return for money or work

  4. (sometimes foll by out) to receive or arrange for (someone, esp a child) to receive food and lodging away from home, usually in return for payment

Origin of board

Old English bord; related to Old Norse borth ship's side, table, Old High German bort ship's side, Sanskrit bardhaka a cutting off

Derived forms of board

  • boardable, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with board


see across the board; back to the drawing board; bed and board; bulletin board; by the board; go overboard; on board; open and aboveboard; room and board; stiff as a board; tread the boards.

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