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 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 Other patterns derive from snow fences, doilies, smoke rings and other unlikely phenomena, sometimes photographed, manipulated and used as springboards for drawing or collaging. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "‘Frank Stella Unbound’ Review: Leaving His Mark on Literature," 25 June 2018 In a separate chapter, art historian Nadia Jackinsky-Sethi shows how traditional Native art styles have been used as springboards for contemporary Native artists to update and even depart entirely from in an effort at locating a sense of identity. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage Museum takes a broad look at northern life in ‘North: Finding Place in Alaska’," 10 June 2018 Trump's campaign manager is touting the president's accomplishments as a springboard to the upcoming election. Fox News, "President Trump, Kim Jong Un set to meet in Singapore for historic summit," 7 June 2018 DAILY Plantation Aquatic Complex Swim classes for ages 6 months to adults, private lessons, springboard dive classes, lifeguard certifications, water safety instructor certifications and water aerobics. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Sunrise area events July 18-28," 13 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of springboard


circa 1780, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1904, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about springboard

Share springboard

Statistics for springboard

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for springboard

The first known use of springboard was circa 1780

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!