[dash-bawrd, -bohrd]
(in an automobile or similar vehicle) a panel beneath the front window having various gauges and accessories for the use of the driver; instrument panel.
a board or panel at the front of an open carriage or the like to protect the occupants from mud or dirt cast up by the hoofs of the animals drawing the vehicle.

1840–50; dash1 + board

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dashboard (ˈdæʃˌbɔːd)
1.  Also called: fascia, Sometimes shortened to: dash the instrument panel in a car, boat, or aircraft
2.  obsolete a board at the side of a carriage or boat to protect against splashing
3.  commerce a document presenting the most significant information about a subject on a single page

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1846, from dash + board; "board in front of a carriage to stop mud from being splashed ("dashed") into the vehicle by the horse's hoofs." Of motor vehicles, from 1904.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
No one wants to have a car dashboard malfunction because of an inferior part
  that cost only a few pence.
It features a car, the dashboard of which is one large, high-resolution display.
Your face gets messed up due to hitting the dashboard, worse than had the air
  bags deployed.
The fact that your dome light is on, and aimed at your dashboard, doesn't
  affect your speed north.
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