Definition of cupboard noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkʌbəd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌbərd//
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  1. 1  a piece of furniture with doors and shelves used for storing dishes, food, clothes, etc. kitchen cupboards
  2. 2  (British English) (North American English closet) a space in a wall with a door that reaches the ground, used for storing things built-in cupboards see also airing cupboard, broom cupboard
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting a table or sideboard on which cups, plates, etc. were displayed): from cup + board.Extra examples Do you have much cupboard space in your new house? Put the clothes in the airing cupboard. The cupboard was full of old spices. There’s a broom cupboard under the stairs. We had some new cupboard units fitted in the kitchen. The kitchen has built-in cupboards and shelves. The tool kit is in the cupboard under the stairs. There are clean sheets in the airing cupboard.Idioms (British English) used to say that there is no money for something They are seeking more funds but the cupboard is bare. This expression refers to a children’s nursery rhyme about Old Mother Hubbard, who had nothing in her cupboard to feed her dog. (British English) affection that somebody, especially a child, shows towards somebody else in order to get something
    a skeleton in the cupboard (British English) (also a skeleton in the closet North American English, British English)
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    (informal) something shocking, embarrassing, etc. that has happened to you or your family in the past that you want to keep secret
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cupboard