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card +‎ board



cardboard (countable and uncountable, plural cardboards)

  1. A wood-based material resembling heavy paper, used in the manufacture of boxes, cartons and signs.

Usage notes[edit]

Despite widespread general use in English, the term cardboard is deprecated in commerce and industry as not adequately defining a specific product.[1]

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]




  1. Made of or resembling cardboard; (figuratively) flat or flavorless.
    • 1868, Arthur William A'Beckett, "Painted Ships and Painted Oceans", The Tomahawk, page 114:
      The worst of the thing, however, is that the enormity, such as it is, happens to be of a very cardboard and tinsel character.
    • 1973, Journal of Black Poetry, Issue 17, page 27:
      The thing really looked quite cardboard.
    • 2008, Katya Hokanson, Writing at Russia's Border[1], page 122:
      While Lensky’s character is quite cardboard, Onegin’s manipulations and lack of ability to call off the duel because he fears society’s jibes, Lensky’s youth and naivety, and Tatiana’s reaction to the duel lend the event its gravity.
    • Twentieth-Century Scottish Drama, page 501:
      MUMMER 3 pulls out an inflated cushion with a very cardboard crown on it.