free·​board | \ ˈfrē-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce freeboard (audio) \

Definition of freeboard

1 : the distance between the waterline and the main deck or weather deck of a ship or between the level of the water and the upper edge of the side of a small boat
2 : the height above the recorded high-water mark of a structure (such as a dam) associated with the water

Examples of freeboard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web New Jersey and New York instituted two feet of freeboard after Superstorm Sandy. Alex Harris,, "Florida’s building code doesn’t take sea rise into account. That could change.," 2 Dec. 2019 The Yamaha doesn't appear to have any flair up front to knock down spray, and at the bow the freeboard (the distance from the edge of the boat down to the deck) is minimal. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Yamaha 242 Limited S Is Ready To Escape the Lake," 11 July 2019 The present system is overdesigned for those surges, with earthen levees and concrete structures containing as much as 3 feet of extra storage space, or freeboard, to account for subsidence and sea level rise over their 50-year design life. Mark Schleifstein,, "New Orleans area levee system 'high risk,' and 'minimally acceptable', Corps says," 22 May 2018 And maybe a 1-foot freeboard isn't high enough, Berginnis said. Thom Patterson, CNN, "How Houston's layout may have made its flooding worse," 31 Aug. 2017 Or consider Nashville, Tennessee, which has a freeboard of 4 feet. Thom Patterson, CNN, "How Houston's layout may have made its flooding worse," 31 Aug. 2017 Much of Houston has a 1-foot freeboard, Berginnis said. Thom Patterson, CNN, "How Houston's layout may have made its flooding worse," 31 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'freeboard.' 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 freeboard

1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of freeboard was in 1718

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Cite this Entry

“Freeboard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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