[spring-bawrd, -bohrd]
a flexible board, projecting over water, from which divers leap or spring.
a flexible board used as a takeoff in vaulting, tumbling, etc., to increase the height of leaps.
something that supplies the impetus or conditions for a beginning, change, or progress; a point of departure: a lecture to serve as a springboard for a series of seminars.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to impel or launch on or as if on a springboard.

1865–70; spring + board

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
springboard (ˈsprɪŋˌbɔːd)
1.  a flexible board, usually projecting low over the water, used for diving
2.  a similar board used for gaining height or momentum in gymnastics
3.  (Austral), (NZ) a board inserted into the trunk of a tree at some height above the ground on which a lumberjack stands to chop down the tree
4.  anything that serves as a point of departure or initiation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
It can also be a natural springboard to developing a deeper interest in our own
  communities and history.
He may be thankful if the given palette of colors is rich, if the springboard
  is light.
Every little idea is a springboard when you have writer's block.
The extinction of the dinosaurs is a great springboard for a consideration of
  the risks of climate change.
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