archaic : a size of board for making staves and wainscoting
: a narrow board usually thicker at one edge than the other used for siding
ˈklap-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce clapboard (audio) : a pair of hinged boards one of which has a slate with data identifying a piece of film and which are banged together in front of a motion-picture camera at the start of a take to facilitate editing

called also clapper board

clapboard transitive verb

Examples of clapboard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Tuesday, May 14, the cookbook author and model, 38, shared a cute snap of daughter Esti Maxine, 16 months, holding a movie-style clapboard ahead of her first day at preschool. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 15 May 2024 His clapboard, two-story house in Newark had an enormous antenna array on its roof. Clay Risen, New York Times, 26 Jan. 2024 That, at least, felt like home for the hundreds of thousands of Protestant middle Americans who migrated to L.A. and, in the land of Spanish missions, built themselves white clapboard New England-style steepled churches. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 The article notes that the structure underwent a transformation, including the application of aluminum clapboard siding to preserve its authenticity while enhancing durability. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 10 Mar. 2024 The walls are crowded with ephemera: old menus, newspaper ads, photographs of clapboard drive-ins and mid-century neon signs, a few souvenirs from Motz’s own résumé of burger residencies and pop-ups. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 14 Jan. 2024 Inside the cramped warrens of clapboard and rusted metal, the heat is suffocating. Jason Motlagh, Rolling Stone, 26 Nov. 2023 The vines become large and heavy over time so be sure that the host structure can support the weight of the vines and the structure is not something (like the side of a clapboard house) that may rot or need replacing or repainting. Patricia S York, Southern Living, 18 Mar. 2024 Arguably the main attraction, however, is the photogenic, secret garden-like courtyard, outfitted in rattan chairs and fringed umbrellas, all surrounded by the property's clapboard buildings. Maya Kachroo-Levine, Travel + Leisure, 8 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clapboard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


partial translation of Dutch klaphout stave wood

First Known Use

circa 1520, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of clapboard was circa 1520

Dictionary Entries Near clapboard

Cite this Entry

“Clapboard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


clap·​board ˈklab-ərd How to pronounce clapboard (audio) ˈkla(p)-ˌbō(ə)rd How to pronounce clapboard (audio)
: a narrow board thicker at one edge than at the other used to cover the sides of wooden buildings
clapboard verb

More from Merriam-Webster on clapboard

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