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across the board

Meaning: If something is across the board, it relates to all without exception.

For example:

  • The company has promised to increase salaries across the board, so everyone will get a pay rise.

  • The tax cuts will only apply to low and middle-income families, so they won't be across the board.

Origin: From horse-racing, when bookmakers used to mark up the odds on large boards. An "across the board" bet was one in which equal amounts were bet on the same horse to win, place, or show.

Quick Quiz:

The staff cuts will be across the board, so staff will be cut from
  1. every department
  2. some departments
  3. one department

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