Definition of washboard in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈwäSHˌbô(ə)rd/


1A board made of ridged wood or a sheet of corrugated zinc, used when washing clothes as a surface against which to scrub them.
Example sentences
  • Their chores will be done with the implements of the day, which means they will be cooking their meals over an open fire and washing their clothes with a washboard.
  • Washing happened in an enormous sink on the rooftop or in the compound, scrubbed in cold water and using a special detergent and a stiff brush on a corrugated washboard.
  • A quarter-century of feminism and here's advice on how to use a washboard and scrub the kitchen floor on your hands and knees.
1.1A washboard played as a percussion instrument by scraping.
Example sentences
  • Phil Rourke plays tea chest box bass while Matt Elliot handles the percussion, playing the washboard, shakers, snare drum, tin can and all-important cow bell.
  • The Bayou Brothers sound features a variety of instruments including the double bass, harmonica, washboard, kazoo, jaw harp, guitar and mandolin.
  • He boasts ownership of ‘congas, washboards, harmonica and guitar’, the way other movie stars boast of owning vintage cars.
1.2North American The surface of a worn, uneven road.
Example sentences
  • The ride was especially harsh over a short stretch of washboards.
  • As expected, the treacherous first third of the course beats her up: the three supersteep descents, the large patches of axle-deep sand, and the mile-long section of washboard.
  • A linear compression rate through the first half of the suspension travel and then a slightly rising rate for the last half results in a long, smooth ride that sucks up everything from washboard to 50-foot road gaps.
1.3 [as modifier] Denoting a man’s stomach that is lean and has well-defined muscles.
Example sentences
  • I like guys with washboard stomachs - I consider that sexy.
  • I casually thumbed through - guys with bright neon trunks, guys with washboard stomachs, guys with fetishes and guys with other guys adorned the glossy pages.
  • GI-Joe had a nice bulge to match his biceps and washboard stomach.
2A board fixed along the side of a boat to prevent water from spilling in over the edge.


[with object] (usually as adjective washboarded) chiefly North American
Cause ridges to develop in (a road or road surface): a road left washboarded by winter frost
More example sentences
  • The fluttering blue flags marking cut areas in the scorched trees signal that my days bumping down these washboarded roads have been in vain.
  • After about three miles of joint-rattling, washboard dirt roads we rounded a corner and got our first gander at the Buttermilks.
  • He scowls and flings the cap out into the washboarded road.
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