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A long, thin wooden board. In the 15th century, the name clap board was used for any wood strips split for barrel staves. By the 17th century, however, clapboard was used to specifically designate long thin boards that were made thicker on one edge than along the other; thus producing a tapered cross section. Clapboards were used to provide a weatherproof siding for homes by placing them in horizontal, overlapping positions. By the 19th century, the term clapboard was used generally for any type of beveled overlapping house siding, including shingles.

Synonyms and Related Terms

weatherboard; clap board

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