See also: à bord



Etymology 1Edit

From French abord, from aborder (to aboard).


abord (plural abords)

  1. (obsolete) The act of approaching or arriving; approach. [17th–19th c.]
    • 1777, Frances Burney, Journals & Letters, Penguin 2001, p. 77:
      He entered with an air so immensely conceited and affected, and, at the same Time, so uncommonly bold, that I could scarce stand his Abord […].
  2. (rare) A road, or means of approach. [from 17th c.]

Etymology 2Edit

Alternative forms.


abord (third-person singular simple present abords, present participle abording, simple past and past participle aborded)

  1. Alternative form of aboard
    • 1919, Ronald Firbank, Valmouth, hardback edition, Duckworth, page 82:
      Mrs Hurstpierpoint aborded her with a smile.




From Middle French [Term?], from aborder, from Old French aborder (to hit a ship in order to board it), from bord (side of a ship, edge), from Frankish *bord (side of a ship or vessel), from Proto-Germanic *burdą (edge, border, side), from Proto-Indo-European *bheredh- (to cut). Cognate with Old High German bort (edge, rim, rand), Old English bord (ship, side of a ship), Old Norse borð (edge, side of a vessel). More at board.


  • IPA(key): /a.bɔʁ/
  • (file)


abord m (plural abords)

  1. (literary) The manner with which one acts in the presence of another person or persons, especially in a first encounter.
    • 2008, Amphibiens et reptiles, →ISBN, page 80:
      Au premier abord, la caouanne est une tortue à très grosse tête.
      At first glance, the loggerhead is a turtle with a very large head.
  2. (rare) The surroundings of a place.
  3. (archaic) Arrival or accessibility by water.

Usage notesEdit

  • In the sense "surroundings", the word is almost always a pluralia tantum.
  • The sense "manner of acting" is usually now perceived as a backformation from aborder (to approach), and is most common in the expression être d'un abord and variations of it.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit


Middle EnglishEdit


From a- +‎ bord (exterior of a ship).



  1. On board; into or within a ship or boat
  2. (nautical) Alongside.



  1. On board of; onto or into a ship, boat, train, plane.


  • English: aboard