spring·​board | \ ˈspriŋ-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce springboard (audio) \
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

Can Osman use last season and his impending FIBA World Cup appearance as a springboard? Chris Fedor, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Cavaliers and John Beilein’s search for ‘small victories’ that will define the season -- Chris Fedor," 3 July 2019 The downtown ballpark was promised as a springboard to success for the Padres. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Who are most impactful people in Padres history that didn’t play for team?," 23 June 2019 This should be Odom’s best season so far, and could be a springboard toward a better future. 3. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Bobby Witt Jr., Ned Yost, Patrick Mahomes and dad’n," 4 June 2019 These three components create a springboard for endless flavor combinations that can range from whatever is in season to whatever is in your cupboard. Chelsea Zwieg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Crumbly good: Classic coffeecake is just a starting point," 9 Jan. 2018 The hope was that Jeju would be a springboard to reach Seoul and apply for refugee protections. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, "How hundreds of Yemenis fleeing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis ended up on a resort island in South Korea," 22 June 2018 Related Coverage The controller role is often a springboard to bigger positions in a company. Tatyana Shumsky, WSJ, "Corporate Controllers Step Into the Spotlight as CFO Role Evolves," 20 Feb. 2019 But don’t shed too many tears, since the episode will also be a springboard for the spinoff series on Freeform, which stars Cierra Ramirez (Mariana) and Maia Mitchell (Callie) making a new life for themselves in Los Angeles. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘The Fosters’ and ‘Full Frontal With Samantha Bee’," 6 June 2018 The base could also be used as a springboard into Africa and the Middle East, both of which have significant numbers of Chinese expatriates. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Satellite Images Spy China's First Overseas Military Base," 9 Nov. 2017

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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Statistics for springboard

Last Updated

16 Jul 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 How to pronounce springboard (audio) \

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

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an act or instance of editing or removing

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