[spring-bawrd, -bohrd]
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  1. a flexible board, projecting over water, from which divers leap or spring.
  2. a flexible board used as a takeoff in vaulting, tumbling, etc., to increase the height of leaps.
  3. something that supplies the impetus or conditions for a beginning, change, or progress; a point of departure: a lecture to serve as a springboard for a series of seminars.
verb (used with or without object)
  1. to impel or launch on or as if on a springboard.

Origin of springboard

First recorded in 1865–70; spring + board
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for springboard


  1. a flexible board, usually projecting low over the water, used for diving
  2. a similar board used for gaining height or momentum in gymnastics
  3. Australian and NZ a board inserted into the trunk of a tree at some height above the ground on which a lumberjack stands to chop down the tree
  4. anything that serves as a point of departure or initiation
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 springboard

1799, from spring (v.) + board (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper