back·​woods | \ ˈbak-ˈwu̇dz How to pronounce backwoods (audio) \
plural in form but singular or plural in construction

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

Other Words from backwoods


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

Examples of backwoods in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Norm Macdonald, at his best, was a divinely hilarious, brave and absurd anomaly — a backwoods Canadian hick with the phrasing of a poet, a mad bomber and destroyer of worlds who was, simultaneously, a principled and loyal friend. Conan O'brien, Washington Post, 14 Sep. 2022 In the lead single from her 2007 album Family, Rimes took fans deep into this swampy, bluesy groove for a deliciously defiant tale of a mischievous group of young adults in the deep backwoods with nothing but time on their hands. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 28 Aug. 2022 The restored towers can be rented at as backwoods lodging, further helping funding of critical Forest Service initiatives. Jim Vinoski, Forbes, 10 Aug. 2022 The guest rooms are outfitted with furnishings that would fit well in the backwoods manor of a Gilded Age robber baron. Boyce Upholt, Outside Online, 10 Aug. 2022 Subsequently, many of the backwoods meth labs scattered throughout the U.S. moved to Mexico. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 5 Aug. 2022 Alluding to the film’s backwoods setting, the track evokes the elegiac tone of Appalachian folk ballads as Swift’s voice, otherworldly and siren-like, is accentuated by sweeping string arrangements and the gentle strum of a guitar. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 24 June 2022 The park comprises nearly 500 acres; other attractions include hiking trails, gemstone mining, camping in facilities ranging from cabins to primitive backwoods sites and more. al, 22 June 2022 Magee embraces their fierce sort of backwoods independence. Outside Online, 7 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 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.

First Known Use of backwoods


1709, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1784, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of backwoods was in 1709

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Last Updated

28 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Backwoods.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for backwoods


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

Kids Definition of backwoods

: wooded or partly cleared areas away from cities

More from Merriam-Webster on backwoods

Nglish: Translation of backwoods for Spanish Speakers


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