back·​woods | \ ˈbak-ˈwu̇dz How to pronounce backwoods (audio) \

Definition of backwoods

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : wooded or partly cleared areas far from cities
2 : a remote or culturally backward area



Definition of backwoods (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from backwoods

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

backwoodsy \ -​ˈwu̇d-​zē How to pronounce backwoodsy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of backwoods in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The customizable routes offer dozens of options ranging from easy strolls just steps from town to long-distance backwoods excursions. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "Arizona hike: Shady, easy-to-navigate forest trail leads to big mountain views," 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, "America’s Original Identity Politics," 7 Feb. 2019 Think of the backwoods ranger and Minuteman, the Confederate cavalry officer, the flying ace of World War I, the commando, the Green Beret and SEAL. John F. Ross, WSJ, "‘The Crowded Hour’ Review: San Juan Hill and Beyond," 4 June 2019 Gwen documented the backwoods getaway on her Instagram and eliminated any doubts that the California native can't kick it with a country boy. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Blake Shelton Took Gwen Stefani on the Sweetest Family Vacation to His Home State," 1 Apr. 2019 The inhabitants are men, none identified, who have chosen to live in backwoods isolation. William Meyers, WSJ, "What to Give: Books About Photography," 15 Nov. 2018 No night out in Montréal, and no backwoods party at the cabane á sucre is complete without a big steaming pile of poutine. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Debatable Encyclopedia of Drunk Food," 1 Oct. 2018 Sitting on a 35-acre parcel just outside Telluride, Colorado, the home is a whopping 6,561 square feet and comprises ten interconnected pavilions, resembling more of a backwoods cul-de-sac than one residence. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Minimalist home with jaw-dropping Rocky Mountain views asks $16.9M," 26 July 2018 Bootleg cannabis has been circulating around Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties — the famed Emerald Triangle — for decades, and backwoods growing is ingrained in the culture. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "Illegal pot grows spread deadly pesticides, other hazards, despite change in law," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backwoods.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backwoods

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for backwoods

The first known use of backwoods was in 1709

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More Definitions for backwoods



English Language Learners Definition of backwoods

: an area that is far from cities


noun plural
back·​woods | \ ˈbak-ˈwu̇dz How to pronounce backwoods (audio) \

Kids Definition of backwoods

1 : wooded or partly cleared areas away from cities
2 : a place that is backward in culture

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More from Merriam-Webster on backwoods

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backwoods

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for backwoods

Spanish Central: Translation of backwoods

Nglish: Translation of backwoods for Spanish Speakers

Comments on backwoods

What made you want to look up backwoods? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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