Definition of boilerplate
1 : syndicated material supplied especially to weekly newspapers in matrix or plate form
2a : standardized textb : formulaic or hackneyed language bureaucratic boilerplate
3 : tightly packed icy snow
boilerplate was our Word of the Day on 04/22/2009. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
In the days before computers, small, local newspapers around the U.S. relied heavily on feature stories, editorials, and other printed material supplied by large publishing syndicates. The syndicates delivered that copy on metal plates with the type already in place so the local papers wouldn't have to set it. Printers apparently dubbed those syndicated plates boiler plates because of their resemblance to the plating used in making steam boilers. Soon boilerplate came to refer to the printed material on the plates as well as to the plates themselves. Because boilerplate stories were more often filler than hard news, the word acquired negative connotations and gained another sense widely used today: "hackneyed or unoriginal writing."
First Known Use of boilerplate
BOILERPLATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of boilerplate for English Language Learners
: phrases or sentences that are a standard way of saying something and are often used
Legal Definition of boilerplate
: standardized text in documents (as contracts)
Seen and Heard
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