\ˈbȯrd \

Definition of board 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 obsolete : border, edge

2 nautical : the side of a ship

3a : a piece of sawed lumber of little thickness and a length greatly exceeding its width nailed boards over the windows

b boards plural, theater : stage sense 2a(2) one of the best actors that ever trod the boards

c boards plural : skis a new pair of boards

4a archaic : table sense 1a

b : a table spread with a meal offered to help clear the board

c : daily meals especially when furnished for pay paid for her room and board

d : a table at which a council or magistrates sit sat at the council board

e(1) : a group of persons having managerial, supervisory, investigatory, or advisory powers She is on the bank's board of directors. board of examiners a board member

(2) : an examination given by an examining board often used in plural pass the medical boards

f : league, association local board of realtors

g card games

(1) : the exposed hands of all the players in a stud poker game

(2) : an exposed dummy (see dummy entry 1 sense 2a) hand in bridge

5a : a flat usually rectangular piece of material (such as wood) designed for a special purpose: such as

(1) : springboard sense 1 Do a backflip off the board.

(2) : surfboard

(3) : skateboard … Tony Hawk has just legitimized the youthful rebellion they'd abandoned along with their boards.— Sean Pamphilon

b basketball : backboard sense 1 a rebound off the boards also : a rebound in basketball averaging 7.8 boards per game

c : a surface, frame, or device for posting notices Pin the photo to the board.

d : blackboard wrote the assignment on the board

e : switchboard

6a : cardboard

b : the stiff foundation piece for the side of a book cover

7 finance : a securities or commodities exchange (see exchange entry 1 sense 5a)

8 boards plural, ice hockey : the low wooden wall enclosing a hockey rink

9 electronics : a sheet of insulating material carrying circuit elements and terminals so that it can be inserted in an electronic apparatus (such as a computer)

10 computers : message board sense 2 Add a link to the board.

across the board

: so as to include or affect all classes or categories cut spending across the board also : in all areas or respects considered an average player across the board

on board

1 : aboard

2 : in support of a particular objective needed to get more senators on board for the bill to pass


boarded; boarding; boards

Definition of board (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : to come up against or alongside (a ship) usually to attack

2 : accost, address boarded me with some light remark— W. A. White

3a : to go aboard (something, such as a ship, train, airplane, or bus) boarded a bus to Chicago

b : to put aboard an airliner boarding passengers

4 : to cover or seal off with a long, thin, and often narrow piece of sawed lumber : to cover or seal off with boards (see board entry 1 sense 3a) board up a window board up a house

5 : to provide with regular meals and often also lodging usually for compensation supplemented her income by boarding college students

6 ice hockey : to check (a player) into the low wooden wall enclosing a hockey rink : to check (a player) into the boards (see board entry 1 sense 8)

intransitive verb

1 : to receive meals or lodging bachelors who board at the inn specifically : to live at a boarding school

2 informal : to ride a skateboard, snowboard, etc. At 12, Danny joined his 16-year-old brother … on the slopes, boarding every day after school.— Scott DeSimon

3a : to get into or onto a means of transportation (such as an airplane, bus, ship, etc.) A bit late, we hurried to the gate just in time to board.— Ellen Creager

b : to put or allow passengers into or onto such a means of transportation … before my plane boarded I wandered into a duty-free shop to pick up a few last-minute presents.— Ted Mooney

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Other Words from board


boardlike \ˈbȯrd-ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of board in a Sentence


They nailed some boards over the broken window. They covered the board in fabric and pinned some photographs to it. the board that is used to play games like chess and checkers I saw a notice on the board calling for volunteers. Write the answers on the board. She is on the town's planning board. The parole board has decided that the prisoner is not yet ready for release.


You must have a ticket in order to board the train. The pirates tried to board the ship, but we fought them off. We're supposed to board at 10:15. We're now boarding all passengers. The flight is about to begin boarding. Passengers should remain in the boarding area. The caretaker boarded the window. They board guests during the summer season. Many students board at the college.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wall Street creditors supported the installation of independent board members under a 2016 governance overhaul. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Puerto Rico Utility Directors Resign, Alleging Political Interference," 12 July 2018 Most board members of Puerto Rico’s power utility resigned Thursday after a chorus of outrage over pay for its new chief executive officer, who then pulled out of the job. Fortune, "Puerto Rico's Bankrupt Utility Has No Leader After Pay Scandal," 12 July 2018 Other board members did not immediately respond to requests for comment, or declined to comment. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Battles between smokers, nonsmokers may be heating up," 11 July 2018 In other discussion, RCPG board member Kristi Mansolf reported that Caltrans did receive a letter from RCPG requesting a street light at 16th Street and state Route 67. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden advocate wants Ramona Street completion off priority list," 11 July 2018 This ignominy comes after de Carvalho was discharged of his duties by Sporting's board members last month., "Ex-Sporting CP President Embroiled in €500,000 Per Year Communications Company Scandal," 10 July 2018 Casey Wasserman, who is chair of LA 2028’s organizing committee, is also a board member at Vox Media, Curbed’s parent company. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018 Uber board member Ariana Huffington has apologized and the company is investigating the matter. Niki Mcgloster,, "The Quick Read: Lupita Nyong'o To Star In 'Charlie's Angels' Reboot," 6 July 2018 The day after the incident, the homeowner’s association announced Adam’s resignation from his position as pool chairman and board member in a statement published by WXII. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "A White Winston-Salem, NC, Resident Lost His Job After Calling the Police on a Black Woman," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Raised in London, he was immersed in music from a young age, surrounded by performers who dined and sometimes boarded with the family. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Oliver Knussen, influential composer of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ opera, dies at 66," 12 July 2018 According to a report in People, Holmes is photographed boarding a private jet in Paris with Foxx, where the actor has been filming a new version of Robin Hood. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Complete Timeline of Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx’s Rumored Relationship," 1 July 2018 And even more boarded buses headed toward an unknown destination., "Orange Is The New Black," 29 June 2018 The mother said community activists scoured social media and came to Chicago about two weeks ago when someone said she had been spotted boarding a Greyhound bus to the city. Deanese Williams-harris And Annie Sweeney,, "Missing Milwaukee girl found in Chicago after disturbing video surfaces on Facebook," 28 June 2018 The new option is part of a bid by Keolis and the T to ensure passengers are paying for all trips, which has included pre-boarding ticket checks at certain times and certain stations. Adam Vaccaro,, "Commuter rail will accept credit cards onboard trains," 27 June 2018 The group was seen boarding their bus at the end of the march. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Chicago Activists Rally as the March for Our Lives Tour Makes Its First Stop at a South Side Peace March," 16 June 2018 Justin and Hailey were spotted boarding a private jet, leaving Miami. Victoria Rodriguez, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's Relationship," 14 June 2018 This includes dogs in boarding kennels, day care centers, shelters, dog shows, veterinary clinics, pet stores, grooming parlors, etc. Saryn Chorney,, "As Dog Flu Spreads from Brooklyn into Manhattan, N.Y.C. Veterinarians Issue Urgent Warnings to Pet Parents," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'board.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of board


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for board


Middle English bord piece of sawed lumber, border, ship's side, from Old English; akin to Old High German bort ship's side


see board entry 1

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Statistics for board

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for board

The first known use of board was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for board



English Language Learners Definition of board

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, thin, flat piece of wood

: a flat piece of material (such as wood or cardboard) that is used for a special purpose

: a large, smooth surface for writing on



English Language Learners Definition of board (Entry 2 of 2)

: to get into or onto (an airplane, a bus, a train, etc.)

: to put or allow (someone) into or onto an airplane, a bus, a train, etc.

: to cover or close (something) with pieces of wood


\ˈbȯrd \

Kids Definition of board

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a sawed piece of lumber that is much broader and longer than it is thick

2 : a usually rectangular piece of rigid material used for some special purpose a diving board a game board

4 : a number of persons having authority to manage or direct something the school board

5 : meals given at set times for a price He paid $20 a week for room and board.

6 boards plural : the low wooden wall enclosing a hockey rink

7 : a sheet of insulating material carrying electronic parts (as for a computer)

on board


boarded; boarding

Kids Definition of board (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to go aboard We boarded the plane in New York.

2 : to cover with boards The windows were boarded up.

3 : to give or get meals and a place to live for a price The students board at the college. They board guests in the summer.


\ˈbō(ə)rd, ˈbȯ(ə)rd \

Medical Definition of board 

1 : a group of persons having supervisory, managerial, investigatory, or advisory powers medical licensing boards a board of health

2 : an examination given by an examining board often used in plural passed his medical boards

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noun, often capitalized

Legal Definition of board 

1a : a group of individuals having managerial, supervisory, investigatory, or advisory powers over a public or private business, trust, or other organization or institution Board of Regents Board of Bar Overseers

b : board of directors

2a : a group of citizens elected to administer the business of or an aspect of the business of a political unit (as a town or county) a board of selectmen

b : a federal, state, or local government agency — see also National Labor Relations Board

3 : a securities or commodities exchange — see also board of trade

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Comments on board

What made you want to look up board? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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