• synonyms


[klab-erd, klap-bawrd, ‐bohrd]
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  1. Chiefly Northeastern U.S. a long, thin board, thicker along one edge than the other, used in covering the outer walls of buildings, being laid horizontally, the thick edge of each board overlapping the thin edge of the board below it.
  2. British. a size of oak board used for making barrel staves and for wainscoting.
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  1. of or made of clapboard: a clapboard house.
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Origin of clapboard1

1510–20; earlier clap bord, alteration of obsolete clapholt < Low German klappholt (cognate with Dutch klaphout) split wood used for barrel staves; see clap1, holt


[klap-bawrd, -bohrd]
noun Movies.
  1. a small board with a hinged stick attached that is clapped down at the beginning of the filming of a shot for use later in synchronizing sound and image in the editing of the film.
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Origin of clapboard2

Also called clapper board, clap·stick [klap-stik] /ˈklæpˌstɪk/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

board, frame, log, peg, plant, slab, timber, woody, clapboard, ligneous, timbered

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British Dictionary definitions for clapboard


    1. a long thin timber board with one edge thicker than the other, used esp in the US and Canada in wood-frame construction by lapping each board over the one below
    2. (as modifier)a clapboard house
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  1. (tr) to cover with such boards
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Word Origin

C16: partial translation of Low German klappholt, from klappen to crack + holt wood; related to Dutch claphout; see board
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

Word Origin and History for clapboard


1520s, partial translation of Middle Dutch klapholt (borrowed into English late 14c. as clapholt), from klappen "to fit" + Low German holt "wood, board" (see holt). Cf. German Klappholz. Originally small boards of split oak, imported from northern Germany and cut by coopers to make barrel staves; the meaning "long, thin board used for roofing or to cover the exterior of wooden buildings" is from 1640s, American English.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper