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 absa washboard stomach

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web And while these supplements have a distinctly masculine heritage — washboard abs, big biceps, and so on — the category includes formulations suitable for everyone. Chris Lee, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2021 Either way, the shirtless look shows off the character’s iconic washboard abs. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2022 Olivia Newton John struts between aisles of men, pushing them to transform their bulging bellies into greased and tanned washboard abs. Chris Isaak, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 Dec. 2022 Melanie Gibson is a Canadian writer, spokesperson, and fitness enthusiast known for her wisecracks and washboard abs. Melanie Gibson, Men's Health, 18 Nov. 2022 The stream cascades down a washboard-like slope of shale before making a sharp right turn at the base of the falls and passing below a shale cliff. Peter Krouse, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2022 In one striking image from that 1937 trip, Man Ray photographed Fidelin standing outdoors against a wall, naked except for flat shoes, bold earrings and a chunky link necklace, with a long washboard extended over her legs like a metal maxiskirt. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 Cracks appear in the surface, sometimes organized like a washboard, and sometimes a complete chaos of spires and ridges, revealing the pale blue crystalline heart of the ice below. Ted Scambos, The Conversation, 7 June 2022 Who knew that Noah Beck had an extensive skincare collection to match his washboard abs? Seventeen Editors, Seventeen, 7 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'washboard.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 29 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


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

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