[peyst-bawrd, -bohrd]


a stiff, firm board made of sheets of paper pasted or layers of paper pulp pressed together.
Older Slang. a card, as a visiting card or a playing card.
Older Slang. a ticket, as for the theater.


made of pasteboard.
unsubstantial, flimsy, or sham.

Origin of pasteboard

First recorded in 1540–50; paste + board
Related formspaste·board·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pasteboard

Historical Examples of pasteboard

  • Mortimer exposed the pasteboard he had acquired on his entry to the stand.


    W. A. Fraser

  • It was enclosed in a pasteboard box, and, when packed, looked just like the parcel of pills.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • On every hand walls collapsed as though they had been made of pasteboard.

  • He took a card from his wallet and laid the torn bit of pasteboard upon it.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • The pasteboard boxes went to the floor in a clattering rush.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for pasteboard



  1. a stiff board formed from layers of paper or pulp pasted together, esp as used in bookbinding
  2. (as modifier)a pasteboard book cover
slang a card or ticket


flimsy; insubstantial
sham; fake
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 pasteboard

1540s, from paste (n.) + board (n.1). So called because it is made of sheets of paper pasted together.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper