wash·​board | \ ˈwȯsh-ˌbȯrd How to pronounce washboard (audio) , ˈwäsh-\

Definition of washboard

1 : a broad thin plank along a gunwale or on the sill of a lower deck port to keep out the sea
2 : baseboard
3a : a corrugated rectangular surface that is used for scrubbing clothes or as a percussion instrument
b : a road or pavement so worn by traffic as to be corrugated transversely
c : an abdominal area characterized by prominent and well-defined musculature usually used attributively a bodybuilder with washboard absa washboard stomach

Examples of washboard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Access roads are gravel/dirt with some washboard sections that are suitable for passenger vehicles. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Sycamore Canyon hike has dramatic views, but don't venture over the edge unprepared," 11 Sep. 2019 The pic, which went up on Sunday, shows Lopez wearing a skimpy white bikini with her washboard abs on full display. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "J.Lo’s Latest Bikini Pic Shows Off Her Incredible Abs—Here’s How She Keeps Them Toned," 12 Aug. 2019 Back for the third time, five-man rock and blues band the California Honeydrops has roots in the Sunny State and perform on stringed instruments, gutbucket bass, jug and washboard. Author: Lauren Ellenbecker, Anchorage Daily News, "Salmonfest time: Headliners Jason Mraz, Ani DiFranco and Wookiefoot kick off annual music festival in Ninilchik," 1 Aug. 2019 Lambert cheekily captioned the photo with the name of her new single, adding a reference to her husband’s impressive washboard abs. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Miranda Lambert's Husband Brendan McLoughlin Is on a Leave of Absence from NYPD," 19 July 2019 Getting the research team’s caravan of four-wheel drive vehicles and pickup trucks to that remote location required picking routes carefully around rocks, potholes and tortoises along 10 miles of washboard dirt road. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "These tortoise-killing ravens are so smart, scientists must use drones to stop them," 9 June 2019 The big tires and the Fox 2.0 Performance shocks ate up the washboard and made mince of the ruts, spitting rocks and gravel and laughing at the sandy parts. Charles Fleming, latimes.com, "The 2020 Jeep Gladiator is a beastly pickup truck that’s built to be battered," 14 June 2019 Just look to model Jourdan Dunn, who bared her six-pack to beat the heat in the West End this week, or brunette bombshell Emily Ratajkowski, who let her washboard abs catch the sun's rays while on a stroll in New York City. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian West and More Show Off Their Crop Top-Ready Abs," 29 July 2018 Yes, a handful of mowers are all-wheel drive, built for homeowners who cut across washboard surfaces, sidehill mowing, steep uphill and downhill mowing that makes good of AWD. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Lawn Mower Buyer's Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Buy the Right Mower," 22 Feb. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of washboard

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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The first known use of washboard was in 1742

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English Language Learners Definition of washboard

: a board with ridges on its surface that was used in the past for washing clothes by rubbing wet clothes against it
US, informal : a group of strong and well-shaped muscles that can be seen on a person's stomach

More from Merriam-Webster on washboard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with washboard

Spanish Central: Translation of washboard

Nglish: Translation of washboard for Spanish Speakers

Comments on washboard

What made you want to look up washboard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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