c. 1300, "a pulling, act of imparting notion by towing," in various senses; verbal noun from draw (v.). The meaning "act of forming or tracing by a pen, pencil, etc." is from late 15c,; that of "picture or representation produced by drawing" is from 1660s.
Drawing-board, "board on which paper is stretched for use in drawing," is from 1725; used in figurative expressions, with the sense of "beginning, starting point" is by 1941 (in the Peter Arno "Well, back to the old drawing board" cartoon in the New Yorker).
updated on August 19, 2020