Sounding board

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Sounding board is a term that may be used in a literal sense, or as an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the expression sounding board, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A sounding board may be a thin, wooden surface built into a stringed musical instrument that amplifies the sound of the strings. A sounding board may also be a structure built above or behind a rostrum, dais or pulpit in order to amplify the sound by reflecting it to the audience. However, the expression sounding board is also used figuratively or metaphorically as an idiom to mean someone who listens as you try out an idea on him, someone who allows you to try out an opinion. The idea is that the person who is your sounding board will give you feedback and let you know if you are on the right track, or if your idea or opinion has merit. A sounding board is someone whose opinion you respect and trust. Use of the term sounding board gained momentum in the mid-1700s.


His belief in communication as well as sharing experiences and being a sounding board for students when they need one, will help preserve a positive environment in the building. (The Evening Observer)

Aside from the addition of US models to the Australian landscape, Detroit also serves as an important sounding board for trends in design and technology, mainly because European and Asian car-makers have design studios in California. (The West Australian)

“As a defensive coordinator for the last seven years, he brings great experience and will be a great sounding board for our defensive staff. (The DeKalb Daily Chronicle)

“Chris has been a great friend and sounding board to me since 1999,” says Edsall, “and I’ve been very appreciative of our friendship and his insight into many different issues that go with being a head coach/CEO of an FBS Football program.” (UConn Today)

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