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1. The distance from the water line to the gunwales of an open boat or to the main deck of a decked vessel.
2. The distance between normal water level and the top of a structure or mass that rises out of the water, such as a buoy, dam, or ice floe.

[Probably ultimately partial translation of Anglo-Norman franc bord, land claimed outside the fence of a park or forest : franc, free + bord, bort, border; see border.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Nautical Terms) the space or distance between the deck of a vessel and the waterline
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfriˌbɔrd, -ˌboʊrd)

1. (on a cargo vessel) the distance between the uppermost deck considered fully watertight and the official load line.
2. the height of the watertight portion of a building or other construction above a given level of water.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


[ˈfriːbɔːd] n (Naut) → bordo libero
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in periodicals archive ?
The city already requires one foot of freeboarding and residents can apply for a variance if they choose, but Waring pointed to the fact that variances are mainly given to properties on the peninsula.
Once you've mastered the jumping mechanism you'll get some serious satisfaction from landing the biggest and best tricks available, and you'll be happy to spend time freeboarding, exploring the amazing alpine environments around you.