wash·​board ˈwȯsh-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce washboard (audio)
: a broad thin plank along a gunwale or on the sill of a lower deck port to keep out the sea
: a corrugated rectangular surface that is used for scrubbing clothes or as a percussion instrument
: a road or pavement so worn by traffic as to be corrugated transversely
: an abdominal area characterized by prominent and well-defined musculature
usually used attributively
a bodybuilder with washboard abs
a washboard stomach

Examples of washboard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, the set features collaborators from various musical genres — including Post Malone and Miley Cyrus — as well as instruments such as the accordion, washboards, harmonicas and even her own nails. Anna Chan, Billboard, 29 Mar. 2024 But where some see character, others see a dirty track, as rutted as an old washboard, that grows less appealing with each flat tire and trip to the carwash. Jayne Orenstein, Washington Post, 7 Feb. 2024 Load in a small load of non-bulky clothing, add water and soap and then rub your clothes through the bag to create friction against the interior plastic washboard for at least 30 seconds. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 27 Nov. 2023 Then a washboard on which a woman had been scrubbing laundry after rubbing it abundantly with a ball of soap. Lawrence Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 The obsession with being fit and thin in the workplace is on the rise, with tech moguls like Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos showing off their washboard abs, and the use of drugs like Ozempic for weight loss becoming increasingly common dinner conversation. Paige Hagy, Fortune Well, 1 Aug. 2023 Darcy then casually walks up to the mantel located behind her and places the photo atop it, so the picture blends in with the surrounding decor that includes old jugs, a clock, a washboard and more pieces of Americana. Sam Burros, Peoplemag, 13 June 2023 There is Frost’s tilt-back Morris chair, with his imprint still in the cushion, and Elinor’s washboard, specially fitted with glass rather than metal to be gentler on the fingers. Diane Speare Triant, BostonGlobe.com, 4 May 2023 Imagine a spoon sliding down a washboard in some folksy song about hillbilly divorce. Joseph Goodman, al, 14 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'washboard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of washboard was in 1742

Dictionary Entries Near washboard

Cite this Entry

“Washboard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/washboard. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


wash·​board ˈwȯsh-ˌbō(ə)rd How to pronounce washboard (audio)
: a grooved board to scrub clothes on

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