Boilerplate Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

The word boilerplate can be used in information technology (IT) and legal agreements alike — but do you know what it means? Not to worry; we’re here to help.

In this article, we’re exploring the term boilerplate to uncover its definition, origin, usage, and more. If you’ve ever been curious about boilerplate — keep reading. Here’s our complete guide on boilerplate.  

What Is the Definition of Boilerplate?

To truly understand the meaning of a word, it can be helpful to review multiple definitions from a few trusted sources. 

To ensure you truly grasp the meaning behind our word of the day, we’ve compiled a list of dictionary definitions for you to review:

  • According to the Cambridge Dictionary, boilerplate (ˈbɔɪləpleɪt) refers to text that can be copied and used in legal documents or computer programs. 
  • The Collins Dictionary defines boilerplate as a basic written contract that can be used to make different kinds of contracts. 

Our word of the day is a unit of writing that can be reused over and over without change. Although this is the most common use of the word boilerplate, we should note that it can also refer to steel rolled in large flat plates, often used in making steam boilers. 

What Are Synonyms and Antonyms of Boilerplate?

To further your overall understanding of the word boilerplate, let’s open up your handy-dandy thesaurus to review a few synonyms and antonyms. 

Learning synonyms and antonyms won’t only help you to better understand the meaning of a word, but these tools can enrich your existing vocabulary, too. 

Synonyms of boilerplate include:

  • Boilerplate code
  • Banality
  • Ten a penny
  • Nothing to write home about
  • No greek shakes
  • Common or garden
  • Boilerplate text
  • Cliche
  • Platitude
  • Buzzword
  • Old chestnut
  • Trite phrase
  • Familiar tune
  • Common saying
  • Bathos
  • Prosaism
  • Homily
  • Garden variety
  • Not up to much 
  • Not much cop
  • Bush-league
  • Nothing to get excited about
  • Shibboleth
  • Bromide
  • Half pie
  • Nothing special
  • Not so hot
  • Overworked phrase
  • Hackneyed phrase
  • Stereotype
  • High camp
  • Regular 
  • Routine 
  • Stock phrase
  • Old saw
  • Pattern 
  • Mold
  • Run of the mill
  • Middle of the road

Antonyms of boilerplate include:

  • Unique 
  • Exclusive 
  • Classic 
  • In a class by itself
  • Unheard of
  • Without precedent 
  • Fresh
  • Once in a lifetime
  • Far out
  • Unsurpassed
  • Unrivaled
  • One of a kind
  • One and only
  • Transcendent
  • Nonpareil
  • Separate
  • Singular
  • Essential
  • Exceptional
  • Exemplary
  • Standout
  • Prototypical
  • Novel
  • Ideal
  • Sui generis 
  • Second to none
  • Novella
  • Beyond compare
  • Peerless
  • Matchless
  • Unparagoned 

How Can You Use Boilerplate in a Sentence?

Now that you understand what our word of the day means, you might be wondering how to properly use it in a sentence. Worry not; we’ve compiled a list of example sentences for you to review and study below:

“Did you know that in contract law, the term ‘boilerplate language’ — AKA a boilerplate clause — describes the parts of a contract that are considered standard?”

“Do you have any examples of boilerplate that I can borrow to help write my press release?”

“More often than not, an individual will make small changes to the boilerplate or fill in blanks left for this purpose rather than use the exact copy.”

“Did you know that the word boilerplate is frequently used in the IT industry when describing little snippets of code that are used across various programs?”

“When used as a transitive verb, boilerplate means to store standard text so that it can easily be retrieved for reuse.”

“Do you know if the standard boilerplate can be revised?”

“A good example of a boilerplate is the fine print that’s often found on most contracts.”

“We had a really great boilerplate when I worked for Mr. Smith’s law firm in New York.”

“If you ask me, the use of a good boilerplate can make sending legal contracts and disclaimers to clients a breeze.”

“Fortunately, the contract contained all the usually boilerplate clauses so I didn’t have to take the time to re-write them all!”

What Are Translations of Boilerplate?

If you’re searching for various ways to say boilerplate, you’re in luck — here are some of the most common translations of our word of the day:

  • Afrikaans — ketelplaat
  • Arabic — لوحة المراجل
  • Bulgarian — котелно табелка
  • Chinese (simplified) — 锅炉板
  • Croatian — kotlovska ploča
  • Czech — kotlová deska
  • Danish — kedelplade
  • Dutch — ketelplaat
  • Finnish — kattila levy
  • French — plaque de chaudière
  • German — Boiler Plate
  • Greek — πλάκα λέβητα
  • Italian — piastra caldaia
  • Japanese — ボイラープレート
  • Korean — 보일러 플레이트
  • Norwegian — kjele plate
  • Polish — płyta kotła
  • Portuguese — placa da caldeira
  • Russian — котельная плита
  • Spanish — placa de caldera
  • Swedish — pannplatta
  • Thai — แผ่นหม้อไอน้ํา
  • Turkish — kazan plakası
  • Ukrainian — плита котла
  • Vietnamese — tấm nồi hơi


First used in the 19th century to reference the steel plates used as templates to make steam boilers, boilerplate today often refers to things such as standardized text (or a standard form), documents, procedures, or even methods that have been repeatedly used over time with little to no changes being made. 

That said, boilerplate is also a term commonly found in the computer world when describing various small entries of code that are used over a wide array of programs.

Interested in discovering more complex words like boilerplate? Head on over to our website where you’ll discover a plethora of informative blogs, a number of helpful tools, tons of useful grammar tips, and more. 


Boilerplate definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Boilerplate | Wex | US Law: LII | Legal Information Institute

Boilerplate: definition | The Cambridge English Dictionary