\ ˈbȯrd How to pronounce board (audio) \

Definition of board

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a piece of sawed lumber of little thickness and a length greatly exceeding its width nailed boards over the windows
2a : a surface, frame, or device for posting notices Pin the photo to the board.
b : blackboard wrote the assignment on the board
c : a flat usually rectangular piece of material (such as wood) designed for a special purpose: such as
(1) : surfboard
(2) : skateboard … Tony Hawk has just legitimized the youthful rebellion they'd abandoned along with their boards.— Sean Pamphilon
(3) : springboard sense 1 Do a backflip off the board.
(4) boards plural : skis a new pair of boards
d basketball : backboard sense 1 a rebound off the boards also : a rebound in basketball averaging 7.8 boards per game
3a(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 pluralpass the medical boards
b : league, association local board of realtors
c : daily meals especially when furnished for pay paid for her room and board
d : a table spread with a meal offered to help clear the board
e : a table at which a council or magistrates sit sat at the council board
f 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
g archaic : table sense 1a
4 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)
5 boards plural, ice hockey : the low wooden wall enclosing a hockey rink
6 computers : message board sense 2 Add a link to the board.
b : the stiff foundation piece for the side of a book cover
8 nautical : the side of a ship
9 boards plural, theater : stage sense 2a(2) one of the best actors that ever trod the boards
10 finance : a securities or commodities exchange (see exchange entry 1 sense 5a)
11 obsolete : border, edge
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

1a : 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
2 : 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 1) usually used with upboard up a windowboard up a house
3 : to provide with regular meals and often also lodging usually for compensation supplemented her income by boarding college students
4 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 5)
5 archaic : to come up against or alongside (a ship) usually to attack
6 archaic : accost, address boarded me with some light remark— W. A. White

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from board


boardlike \ ˈbȯrd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce boardlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of board in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump wanted Ukraine’s president to publicly commit to investigating Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company. Washington Post, "White House impeachment hire Bondi winding down foreign work," 8 Nov. 2019 The younger Biden served on the board of Burisma, a controversial and obscure Ukrainian gas company that Trump pressed Zelensky to investigate in a July 25 call., "‘‘Potus wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to the microphone and say investigations, Biden, and Clinton,’’ Kent testified. ‘‘Basically there needed to be three words in the message, and that was the shorthand.’’," 8 Nov. 2019 Maybe that’s why black women were respectively rated the least attractive by men across the board. Brianna Holt, Quartz, "TV and film play an understated role in perpetuating racial bias on dating apps," 7 Nov. 2019 Newquay Zoo, which cares for more than 130 different species from around the world, has had a busy breeding year across the board. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Hold on Tight! Newquay Zoo's New Baby Capuchin Monkey Loves Piggyback Rides from Mom," 7 Nov. 2019 Digging a little deeper, looked at the scores of Alabama’s highest performers, the 90th percentile, by race and poverty level, and again, across the board, Alabama’s students were at or near the bottom of the list. al, "Alabama schools struggle compared to southeast states, test shows," 7 Nov. 2019 In nearby Chester County, Democrats beat two Republican incumbents on the board of commissioners to seize the majority for the first time ever. Steve Peoples, Twin Cities, "Analysis: Trump’s GOP has no answer for suburban slide," 6 Nov. 2019 For the first time, women will make up the majority on the board of commissioners, with Kahoe and Hughes joining Amy Chmielewski. Erika Butler,, "Bel Air election results: Newcomers Kahoe, Bianca, Hughes win commissioner seats," 5 Nov. 2019 Easterbrook, who also resigned from the board of directors, was replaced by Chris Kempczinski, who until Friday was president of McDonald’s USA. Alexia Elejalde-ruiz,, "Fired McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook to get $670,000 in severance, plus bonus and stock options; second exec out," 4 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Last week, the Burtons were among some 1,400 Bahamians who boarded the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s Grand Celebration ship in Freeport, bound for West Palm Beach. NBC News, "Bahamians displaced by Dorian seek solace, community in South Florida," 12 Sep. 2019 The shelter is continuing to pursue search efforts and reuniting animals with owners who boarded their pets at the shelter during the storm. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "Hundreds of dogs and cats are being rescued from Hurricane Dorian. Here's how to help," 5 Sep. 2019 Kathy Fleming, who boards horses in a common barn at the clubhouse, hosted 11 neighbors for lunch last Thursday. Mark Samuelson, The Denver Post, "Beside a red-rock canyon in South Dakota, 5-acre-plus sites come with a huge component of wilderness preservation land," 29 Aug. 2019 Therein lies the play’s great conflict, one that unites (and sometimes divides) both that pair — who feel an instant romantic attraction to each other — and the others who board. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Funny and moving, La Jolla Playhouse’s ‘The Coast Starlight’ proves a memorable journey," 27 Aug. 2019 Elmcroft of Halcyon employees were supposed to maintain detailed logs of residents who boarded and disembarked from the facility van and conduct checks for residents before locking the vehicle. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "State recommends yanking Montgomery assisted living facility’s license after resident’s death," 21 Aug. 2019 Such glowing words have been rare this summer for the United States’ coach, Gregg Popovich, and the 13 players who boarded a charter flight Saturday night from Los Angeles to continue their tournament preparations in Australia. Marc Stein, New York Times, "After Gloomy Talk of No-Shows, Signs of Optimism for U.S.A. Basketball," 18 Aug. 2019 The passengers who had boarded the plane, Delta Flight 1728, disembarked after Schroeder was taken off the plane, Hogan said. Christina Maxouris And Marlena Baldacci, CNN, "A Delta pilot was removed from a fully boarded plane and arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated," 31 July 2019 Gibson filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2018 and is currently in the midst of a recovery under the leadership of Curleigh, who boarded the company last November. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Gibson Grants Oberheim Synth Trademark Back to Founder Tom Oberheim," 22 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of board


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 11


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 5

History and Etymology for board

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about board

Statistics for board

Last Updated

12 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for board

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for board


How to pronounce board (audio)

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 How to pronounce board (audio) \

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 How to pronounce board (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more


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
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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on board

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for board

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with board

Spanish Central: Translation of board

Nglish: Translation of board for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of board for Arabic Speakers

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).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!