\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

On a lightly floured board, roll each pastry to an 11-inch square. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "What’s on the Menu at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards Dinner? Chicken Pot Pie, of Course," 6 Nov. 2018 Heavy wood furniture, made from raw logs, boards, and stone is common. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Rustic Design," 26 Oct. 2018 The blade serrations stop part of the blade from making contact with the cutting board, which dulls edges much faster. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "How To Buy Kitchen Knives Like a Pro," 24 Oct. 2018 Bill was an active member of the community, serving on numerous church committees and library and town boards, and was an active member and past president of the Cheshire Rotary Club and First Congregational Church on the Green in Cheshire, CT., "William Carlton Gordon," 12 July 2018 Another boon for the university, Hiles said, came earlier this year, when Missouri legislators restored 10 percent across-the-board cuts that former Gov. Eric Greitens had imposed. Mará Rose Williams, kansascity, "MU’s record fundraising crosses $1 billion, a sign of recovery from 2015 protests," 11 July 2018 Board puts Indiana veterinarian's license on probation INDIANAPOLIS — A state veterinary board has put a northern Indiana veterinarian's license on probation for two years due to violations related to medications and surgical tools. Chicago Tribune,, "Indiana collected less corporate taxes in fiscal year 2018," 13 July 2018 The school will be reviewed by a three-member board: the church’s lead pastor Elijah Israel as president, Hurst’s husband, Jagade, an assistant pastor, as director and Oscar Rodgers, a church deacon, as treasurer. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "New Christian school to move into former Grissom Elementary," 11 July 2018 López released the routine in 2011, along with a corresponding training board called the Transgression (and a gentler version called the Progression), which has a series of horizontal edges decreasing in depth from top to bottom. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "Climber Eva López Has a PhD in Finger Strength," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Instead of simply working onboard the Gateway in the emptiness of space, a part of the Orion’s crew can board the lander and make a sortie onto the lunar surface. Anatoly Zak, Popular Mechanics, "NASA’s Return to the Moon Could Include a Reusable Lunar Lander," 23 Oct. 2018 The terminal will use facial recognition technology to speed up the travel process by automating flight check-in, bag drop, ID verification, and boarding a flight. Dami Lee, The Verge, "TSA lays out plans to use facial recognition for domestic flights," 15 Oct. 2018 With his girlfriend, who was not charged, Cazarez boarded a private charter and flew to Seattle, prosecutors said. Dan Joling, Fox News, "Bank employee suspected of stealing $4.3M extradited to US," 28 Sep. 2018 The boat starts boarding at 7 and leaves promptly at 8, so don’t be late. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Then they were patted down, boarded onto large buses and driven to a processing center. Rick Jervis, USA TODAY, "'It's a game of hide-and-seek': A look at how Border Patrol apprehends illegal immigrants," 21 June 2018 These elements include paneled walls painted in vibrant colors, gorgeous wide-plank floor boards, and multiple fireplaces (that are currently boarded up). Lauren Ro, Curbed, "1787 colonial updated for live-work asking $425K," 12 June 2018 Just before boarding Marine One and heading back to the White House, Trump noted that the men must be getting great ratings. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Greets 3 Americans Freed by North Korea," 10 May 2018 Kevin Love was big in Cavs sweep over Raptors What James said on Monday was not exactly a declaration that the Cavs would be boarding flights in June for Oakland, Calif. and taking the Warriors prisoner. Joe Vardon,, "LeBron James is using the word 'championship' again about the Cavaliers," 7 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

12 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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