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back·​woods ˈbak-ˈwu̇dz How to pronounce backwoods (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: wooded or partly cleared areas far from cities
: a remote or culturally backward area
backwoodsy adjective


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: of, relating to, or suggesting backwoods
especially : culturally backward or unsophisticated
a backwoods sentimentality

Examples of backwoods in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
The trail was being threatened by development in the backwoods and on the mountain tops. Donna Sarkar, Discover Magazine, 8 June 2021 From city streets to backwoods trails to intense triathlons, the Suunto 9 GPS Multisport Smartwatch was developed for sports lovers and fans of the great outdoors. John Thompson, Men's Health, 22 Dec. 2022 But instead of the hate-spewing backwoods bigot, viewers got a smooth-tongued politician speaking the language of freedom. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, 8 Dec. 2022 As American dirt racing's wunderkind, Pastrana took the lead on promoting and pushing limits in this next stage of the sport, too, bringing his backwoods skills and bike jumps onto the track. Joan Meiners, USA TODAY, 1 Dec. 2022 An available Trailhawk trim points the needle to the backwoods with off-road equipment and features such as a lower crawl gear, though the extra gear doesn’t transform it into a Wrangler. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 29 Nov. 2022 And while the backwoods of Georgia might not seem like a hotbed for mob activity, Thorton, a Kentucky native, was an accomplished criminal in the area, even reportedly becoming the leader of a local drug smuggling operation dubbed The Company. Mike Miller,, 30 Nov. 2022
Frances Quinlan Quinlan had planned to celebrate her 34th birthday in a backwoods cabin this week, before a Friday show in Ohio. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, 6 May 2020 The potholes are worth it, however, for the great weekend of backwoods hiking and exploring . Stef Schrader, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2020 With a freestanding design, premium lightweight aluminum poles, and two entry doors, this backwoods house packs in serious features for the money. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 7 Apr. 2020 Clustered among pine forests and sunny prairies along scenic backwoods roads 20 miles south of town, Perkins Tank and JD Dam Lake comprise a water-centric tour of the Kaibab National Forest’s southern sector. Mare Czinar, azcentral, 5 July 2019 The Curse of Buckout Road Witches burning at the stake, backwoods albino killers and a modern day stalker prove to be more than urban legends on this New York state byway. Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2019 The weekend gets going on Friday with music from Gator Nate, the lovable backwoods yahoo and role model for many a UF pledge. Ben Crandell,, 22 Aug. 2019 The customizable routes offer dozens of options ranging from easy strolls just steps from town to long-distance backwoods excursions. Mare Czinar, azcentral, 21 June 2019 Forty years later, a backwoods hunter from Kentucky who grew up in a log cabin won the presidency, in part by mythologizing his own origins on the frontier in terms of the natural aristocracy of the common man. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, 7 Feb. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backwoods.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of backwoods was in 1709

Dictionary Entries Near backwoods

Cite this Entry

“Backwoods.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun plural
: wooded or partly cleared areas far from cities
: a place that is slow to adopt the ways of the city

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