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 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 For decades, Viva has been a springboard for German entertainers such as Stefan Raab, Heike Makatsch, Oliver Pocher, Sarah Kuttner, Minh-Khai, Tobias Schlegel and many more with broadcasts in Austria and Switzerland as well. Wolfgang Spahr, Billboard, "Viacom Shutting Down Music Video Channel in Germany," 27 June 2018 Saban often cites the 2008 win over top-10 Clemson in Atlanta as a springboard moment for this program. Michael Casagrande, AL.com, "Here's why an Alabama series with Notre Dame, Texas makes sense," 29 Mar. 2018 The Fort Lauderdale Dive Team had 15 members competing in a series of dives including the 1-meter, 3-meter and 5-meter springboards, and up to the 7.5-meter and 10-meter platform. Emmett Hall, Sun-Sentinel.com, "USA Diving zone championship meet provides springboard to success," 7 July 2018 That style also was favored by groups including the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Swan Silvertones and the Soul Stirrers, the latter being the springboard to pop music fame for Sam Cooke. Randy Lewis, latimes.com, "Blind Boys of Alabama singer Clarence Fountain never strayed from spreading the gospel," 4 June 2018 But playing the game is certain to prove a springboard and encouragement for plenty more of the applicants—that’s the nature of these contests. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "JW Anderson Gives Young Photographers a Future," 18 May 2018 Ryan Vail says the USA Track & Field 15k Championships provided a good springboard toward Boston. Ken Goe, OregonLive.com, "Yes, USC should own the world indoor record in the men's 4x400: Oregon track & field rundown," 20 Mar. 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

22 Oct 2018

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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


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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