back·​woods | \ˈbak-ˈwu̇dz \

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 \ adjective

Examples of backwoods in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The tadpoles of western toads squiggle, and water skeeters perform a graceful backwoods ballet. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Battling Scotch broom along Olympic’s Hoh River that threatens fish, forests," 27 May 2018 The two writers took the long way home, stopping to talk with conjurers, tramps, convicts, and backwoods preachers all over the South. Casey N. Cep, The New Yorker, "Zora Neale Hurston’s Story of a Former Slave Finally Comes to Print," 7 May 2018 The wolves have helped to maintain the ecosystem by culling a moose herd that otherwise would overeat the island’s vegetation, while delighting tourists with their eerie howls and occasional appearances on backwoods hiking trails. Washington Post, "Fading wolf population to be restored at Lake Superior park," 16 Mar. 2018 Del owns a pair of steeds, the more mellow of whom is a quarter horse named Lean on Pete; with his jockey Bonnie (Chloe Sevigny) and with Charley signed up as general purpose gofer, Del plies a circuit of county fairs and backwoods racetracks. Ty Burr,, "‘Lean on Pete’ is a moving story of a boy and his steed," 11 Apr. 2018 John Krasinski, who also directed and co-wrote the new horror-thriller, and Emily Blunt, his wife in real life, live with their two children in a quiet, backwoods cabin away from the world. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New movies: 'A Quiet Place,' John Cena's 'Blockers,' Latin film festivals and more," 5 Apr. 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 \

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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