Definition of washboard in US English:

washboard

noun

  • 1A board made of ridged wood or a sheet of corrugated zinc, used when washing clothes as a surface against which to scrub them.

    • ‘The women of the house rubbed each garment against the washboard over and over until the dirt came out, using soft homemade soap.’
    • ‘Long ago, laundry tasks simply required a tub, washboard, clothesline and backbreaking labor.’
    • ‘As we descended, my behind bounced off each log we passed, as though I were a piece of laundry being scrubbed on a washboard.’
    • ‘While she scrubbed the garments in a soapy tub with her washboard, Jack used clothespins to hang them upon long lines of string attached to trees.’
    • ‘Her washboard is not some cast off piece of junk, more a statement of gleaming health and efficiency.’
    • ‘Featuring an old black iron, pans, kettles and jars, a washboard and posser, used for pummelling clothes, the look is completed with a shop sign thought to be more than 100 years old.’
    • ‘The washing dolly, the washing tub or bucks, the mangle, types of water, fuller's earth, soap, bleaching agents, blue, starch, bats, and washboards were keywords in the washing process.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead, they re-enact the event onstage with an inferior ‘tribute’ while a bare-chested Black displays a stomach that is less washboard and more washing machine, a bulky turbulent affair.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mum used a mangle and a washboard so when the washing machine arrived it was a big moment.’
    • ‘As much as I admire her adaptability, it's hard to imagine her back in Arkansas cleaning the brood's clothing on a washboard out front lawn wise next to the stripped 47 Ford up on blocks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The process is simple - all you need is warm soapy water, a washboard, and a willingness to endure prunelike fingers.’
    • ‘Over the centuries other innovations were introduced and by the early decades of the nineteenth century, most households in America used a washboard with grooves in it to wash their clothes.’
    • ‘Perhaps students, instead of wasting money on machines, could just get a washboard and do their clothes in the kitchen sink.’
    1. 1.1 A washboard played as a percussion instrument by scraping.
      • ‘Most recognized for his red hat, overalls and washboard, Lindahl is said to have ‘put the fun back into country music’ after his performances on the USA Network show.’
      • ‘Those sounds come in all forms, from the brittle banjo-playing of Ian McIntyre to the crackle from the attack of Revellie Nixon's washboard to accordion shots courtesy of Comeau and Barry Miller.’
      • ‘The group tours with a mandolin, washboard, fiddle and a crew of ‘old time’ instruments, played standing in a circle.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We sashayed past bars crowded with musicians playing guitars, the Uileann pipes, bodhrán drums, fiddles, banjos, washboards and yes, even the spoons.’
      • ‘Performing as a Jug band, the instrumentation was primitive as they experimented with tub bass, washboard, and kazoo.’
      • ‘Frank became so accomplished that he played at professional gigs with pianist son David, and occasionally they were joined by their other son Mark, on washboard.’
      • ‘Ronnie played washboard with his brother Ted's outfit, the Candy Bison skiffle group, in the intermission between two Tommy Steele films at a local cinema.’
      • ‘Pat Kelly on the washboard played with ten thimbles on his fingers and gave great rhythm to the band.’
      • ‘It is a cacophonous six-piece party-punk ensemble of buzzing (not sludgy) guitars, nasty (not nasally) vocals, washboards, bugles, and cowbells.’
      • ‘Behind the Cliffside Inn, I heard a fiddle and a mandolin, keeping rhythm on an old washboard and stomping on the floor.’
      • ‘We usually have two guitars, two banjos, a mandolin, a big ole homemade washtub bass, a washboard, a harmonica and many kazoos.’
      • ‘There is a CD, Holiday Rag, which has seventeen songs by Kees, who plays the piano accompanied by his friend, Bob Helm, on clarinet and washboard.’
      • ‘She allowed them to practise for hours in her bathroom - where the acoustics were best - and often joined in, playing washboard.’
      • ‘In the courtyard was The Ugly Mug Jug Band, a fearsome foursome with a banjo, guitar, washboard, harmonica and jug.’
      • ‘Some people play washboards with their bare fingers on the corrugated surface.’
      • ‘He boasts ownership of ‘congas, washboards, harmonica and guitar’, the way other movie stars boast of owning vintage cars.’
      • ‘Cajuns improvised and improved the instruments first by bending rake tines, replacing rasps and notched gourds used in Afro-Caribbean music with washboards, and eventually producing their own masterful accordions.’
      • ‘He started off playing washboard with a skiffle group.’
      • ‘The Bayou Brothers sound features a variety of instruments including the double bass, harmonica, washboard, kazoo, jaw harp, guitar and mandolin.’
    2. 1.2as modifier Denoting a man's stomach that is lean and has well-defined muscles.
      • ‘And with some users experiencing rhythmic abdominal convulsions, they can get those washboard abs they've only seen on television’
      • ‘It's not just some media pressure thing; it'd be nice to have washboard abs and feel good about strutting in a swimsuit, but that's not where my sights are set.’
      • ‘Most guys want a lean and muscular body, complete with well-defined arms and washboard abs.’
      • ‘Two days later and I had achieved a stomach that, if not washboard, was no longer in the washtub category.’
      • ‘His sweat was dripping down his greatly toned torso and washboard abs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There is more to a man than his firm butt and washboard abs.’
      • ‘If you do want that firm, washboard look and what you've done to this point hasn't made it happen, change your approach.’
      • ‘It reveals a genuinely washboard stomach and arms no longer flabby.’
      • ‘That his stomach was more dolly tub than washboard, and his buttocks more pulpy than pert.’
      • ‘After all, women these days make no secret of the fact that a guy with strong, muscular arms and washboard abs is a wanted commodity.’
      • ‘I think she may have accepted that my stomach will probably remain rather more cheeseboard than washboard.’
      • ‘They're the standard of male beauty - a washboard stomach, a chiseled face, a muscular body.’
      • ‘A competition like the Mr. Olympia was the one place where they knew they wouldn't be treated to raised eyebrows and haughty sniffs when waxing poetic over the virtues of peaked biceps and washboard abs.’
      • ‘Judging by the fact that I am surrounded by the finest collection of washboard stomachs I have ever seen, it is also fantastic for tightening up stubbornly flabby tummy muscles.’
      • ‘GI-Joe had a nice bulge to match his biceps and washboard stomach.’
      • ‘‘I was even a stripteaser in a very famous disco in Madrid,’ he grins, sheepishly, before patting a stomach that would make a washboard check for cellulite.’
      • ‘I like guys with washboard stomachs - I consider that sexy.’
      • ‘Nor that he has one of those narrow, washboard waists that most of us can only dream about.’
      • ‘For those planning to show off that washboard stomach and flaunt those abs this summer, ice tea is definitely good news, says Shardul Sinha, Director of Chisel Fitness Centre in Bangalore.’
    3. 1.3North American The surface of a worn, uneven road.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The ride was especially harsh over a short stretch of washboards.’
      • ‘It's more important for a race bike to actively absorb washboard and roots so riders can stay seated, powering the pedals to the finish line.’
      • ‘The road rose steeply past forests of cardónes and dry washes over stretches of washboard and sections paved with flat rocks.’
      • ‘Don't forget the pavement, you still have washboards, semi truck ruts, pot-holes and the cargo that falls out of the back of someone else's truck you're following.’
      • ‘Though not ‘outboard’ like the new F - 150, this change reduces wheel hop on washboard.’
      • ‘The desert that appears flat is in fact riddled with hidden wadis/depressions and unseen washboards that slow vehicular travel to a crawl.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A board fixed along the side of a boat to prevent water from spilling in over the edge.

verb

[with object]usually as adjective washboarded
North American
  • Cause ridges to develop in (a road or road surface)

    ‘a road left washboarded by winter frost’
    • ‘A side road north of Lee Vining leads into a washboarded dirt trail, to the ghost town of Bodie.’
    • ‘After about three miles of joint-rattling, washboard dirt roads we rounded a corner and got our first gander at the Buttermilks.’
    • ‘The fluttering blue flags marking cut areas in the scorched trees signal that my days bumping down these washboarded roads have been in vain.’
    • ‘He scowls and flings the cap out into the washboarded road.’
    • ‘Then the big, belching bus turns onto a washboarded, sandy lane and slowly bounces through the tiny village of Ganeshpura.’
    • ‘Who in their right mind would look forward to driving over 60 miles of muddy washboarded, potholed, narrow gravel road?’

Pronunciation