1. Also soap box. an improvised platform, as one on a street, from which a speaker delivers an informal speech, an appeal, or political harangue.
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of a speaker or speech from a soapbox.

Origin of soapbox

First recorded in 1650–60; soap + box1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for soap-box

Historical Examples of soap-box

  • But this paper is the soap-box of that chap, and his is the only point-of-view that'll be expressed in it.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Paul, just be getting me my razor and the brush and soap-box, there's a good lad.'

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • Here were the masses celebrated in pamphlet and soap-box oration.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht

  • Why don't you get a soap-box and preach on the street-corners?


    Alice Hegan Rice

  • It is the pulpit of the reformer and the housetop of the fanatic, this soap-box.

British Dictionary definitions for soap-box


  1. a box or crate for packing soap
  2. a crate used as a platform for speech-making
  3. a child's homemade racing cart consisting of a wooden box set on a wooden frame with wheels and a steerable front axle
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 soap-box

also soapbox, 1650s, "box for holding soap," later especially a wooden crate in which soap may be packed; from soap (n.) + box (n.). Typical of a makeshift stand for a public orator since at least 1907. Also used by children to make racing carts, cf. soap-box derby, annual race in Dayton, Ohio, which dates to 1933.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper