spring·​board | \ ˈspriŋ-ˌbȯrd \
plural springboards

Definition of springboard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a flexible board usually secured at one end and used for gymnastic stunts or diving
2 : something that helps launch an activity, enterprise, etc. … hopes motherhood will be the springboard that relaunches her stagnant acting career.— Roy S. Johnson … Ueberroth is denying claims that he will use the Games as a springboard to high political office.— Ray Kennedy


springboarded; springboarding; springboards

Definition of springboard (Entry 2 of 2)

1 intransitive : to launch upward from or as if from a springboard … cloud-scraping 60-meter punts pulling a half-dozen bodies skyward, each trying to springboard off the small of the other's back …— Gary Smith
2 transitive + intransitive : to start or help start something (such as an activity or enterprise) The company has spent heavily to establish a brand name and reputation from scratch, with no brick-and-mortar stores to springboard its efforts.— Chris O'Malley Fortunately I got the approval, and that springboarded the work.— Andrew Grant

Examples of springboard in a Sentence


The news served as a springboard for a class discussion.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The waiver concepts are to be used as a springboard for innovation, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Thursday. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Trump Administration Details Health-Law Waivers for States," 29 Nov. 2018 So channel your inner artisan, and try these designs or use them as a springboard for your own masquerade ideas. Shelley Wolson, Woman's Day, "Fancy Faces: DIY Halloween Masks," 22 Sep. 2010 Their goal: to destroy the springboards of American power into China’s backyard, pushing the Americans all the way back to Hawaii. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Should the U.S. Navy Buy Non-Nuclear Submarines?," 7 Sep. 2018 But the group also focuses on original pieces by the band members, and those should be provocative springboards as well. Joe Klopus, kansascity, "SFJazz Collective brings impressive band of jazz musicians to KC | The Kansas City Star," 17 Apr. 2018 Patrons and the national media were immediate fans of Pizzaiolo, the springboard for a trio of popular restaurants Hallowell would create in the East Bay. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "New allegations suggest Oakland chef Charlie Hallowell was long aware of harassment charges," 11 Mar. 2018 Mike Groh is the Eagles’ new offensive coordinator, a notable position that helped springboard Frank Reich to become the Indianapolis Colts head coach. Zach Berman, Philly.com, "New Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh: 'It certainly is not Mike's offense. It's Coach Pederson's offense, it's the Philadelphia Eagles' offense'," 29 May 2018 The third-year Dolphins cornerback out of Baylor played some of his best football in the final stretch of 2017, which could be the springboard to something bigger this year. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde5: Here's five reasons to feel better about the Miami Dolphins in July," 13 July 2018 It's launched a successful spinoff, made millionaires out of its previously little-known cast, employed hundreds of actors and crew members and served as a potent springboard for other new CBS comedies. Shelby Grad, latimes.com, "Essential California: The state of the state GOP," 5 May 2018

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


circa 1780, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1904, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for springboard

The first known use of springboard was circa 1780

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More Definitions for springboard



English Language Learners Definition of springboard

: a strong, flexible board that is used for jumping very high in gymnastics or diving
: something that helps you start an activity or process


spring·​board | \ ˈspriŋ-ˌbȯrd \

Kids Definition of springboard

: a flexible board usually fastened at one end and used for jumping high in the air in gymnastics or diving

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More from Merriam-Webster on springboard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with springboard

Spanish Central: Translation of springboard

Nglish: Translation of springboard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of springboard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on springboard

What made you want to look up springboard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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