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[kahrd-bawrd, -bohrd] /ˈkɑrdˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd/
a thin, stiff pasteboard, used for signs, boxes, etc.
resembling cardboard, especially in flimsiness:
an apartment with cardboard walls.
not fully lifelike; shallow; two-dimensional:
a play with cardboard characters.
1840-50; card1 + board Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cardboard
  • Putting together a jigsaw puzzle, particularly the cardboard variety, is an abstract undertaking.
  • Roll it up, stick it in a cardboard tube, and don't let them take it away.
  • On the back of the folder was a piece of cardboard to keep the handouts and their folder from drooping.
  • They resemble cardboard cut-outs, the kind that pop out at firing ranges for target practice.
  • Twelve cards and a stick of unchewable pink cardboard for only ten cents.
  • To complete your greenhouse, cut a cap from a cardboard box to cover the opening.
  • Foam, plastic cups, or cardboard boxes will also protect the tender tips of columnar cactus if you're not a knitter.
  • They'd turn it into new cardboard boxes to hold the manufactured stuff they shipped to us.
  • Because they are easy to build to order by scanning the buyer's head and cutting the cardboard to order, it fits perfectly.
  • And unlike the cardboard carriers that come with the beer, these won't snap and spill suds on the sidewalk.
British Dictionary definitions for cardboard


  1. a thin stiff board made from paper pulp and used esp for making cartons
  2. (as modifier): cardboard boxes
(prenominal) without substance: a cardboard smile, a cardboard general
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cardboard

1848, from card (n.) + board (n.1). Figurative sense is from 1893. An earlier word for the same stuff was card paper (1777).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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