[ free-bawrd, -bohrd ]
/ ˈfriˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd /


  1. the distance between the level of the water and the upper surface of the freeboard deck amidships at the side of a hull: regulated by the agencies of various countries according to the construction of the hull, the type of cargo carried, the area of the world in which it sails, the type of water, and the season of the year.Compare load line.
  2. (on a cargo vessel) the distance between the uppermost deck considered fully watertight and the official load line.
  3. the portion of the side of a hull that is above the water.
Civil Engineering. the height of the watertight portion of a building or other construction above a given level of water in a river, lake, etc.

Nearby words

  1. free-to-air,
  2. free-trade zone,
  3. free-trader,
  4. freebase,
  5. freebie,
  6. freeboard deck,
  7. freeboard length,
  8. freeboot,
  9. freebooter,
  10. freebooty

Origin of freeboard

1670–80; free + board; translation of French franc bord Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for freeboard

British Dictionary definitions for freeboard


/ (ˈfriːˌbɔːd) /


the space or distance between the deck of a vessel and the waterline
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