across the board

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Originated with horse racing, where an "across the board" bet was one which covered first, second and third on the betting "board."


across the board

  1. (idiomatic) Pertaining to all categories or things.
    • 1949, United States Congress Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, Hearings:
      [] in favor of a straight across-the-board salary increase []
    • 1983, A. Premchard, Government Budgeting and Expenditure: Theory and Practice:
      A common technique (variously known as an emergency brake or meat axe budgeting) used by governments is across-the-board cuts;
    • 1998, Shahid Javed Burki, Guillermo Perry, Beyond the Washington Consensus: Institutions Matter:
      Chile provides the region's best example of a country that has successfully reformed its core public administration across the board.
  2. (gambling) Having an equal amount staked on a competitor placing first, second, or third.


across the board

  1. (chess) Of a move or sequence of play, made in response to developments occurring in the game, as opposed to pre-planned or according to theory.