dead·​wood | \ ˈded-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce deadwood (audio) \

Definition of deadwood

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : wood dead on the tree
2 : useless personnel or material
3 : solid timbers built in at the extreme bow and stern of a ship when too narrow to permit framing
4 : bowling pins that have been knocked down but remain on the alley


geographical name
Dead·​wood | \ ˈded-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce Deadwood (audio) \

Definition of Deadwood (Entry 2 of 2)

city in the Black Hills of western South Dakota that was settled circa 1876 following the discovery of gold nearby population 1270

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Examples of deadwood in a Sentence

Noun She's determined to get the deadwood out of the company. a healthy tree with no deadwood
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The sculpture was a surprisingly delicate rendering of a deer crafted by 13-year-old artist Elizabeth Gutierrez from scraps of deadwood she and her brother William, 8, collected in the park. Richard A. Marini,, "Deer sculpture at McAllister Park in San Antonio fondly remembered by its many fans after its untimely destruction.," 15 Sep. 2020 The eating of bark kills trees — allowing sunny clearings for plants, and new homes for insects that live in deadwood, which are then sources of food for birds and other mammals. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "'Best chance we have': Wild bison will return to the UK for the first time in 6,000 years," 11 July 2020 There were no concerning casualties for Barça during the summer, with the Catalans clearing out the deadwood in their squad., "Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 13 Aug. 2019 What is even better the amount of money secured over deadwood, Carl Jenkinson for £3m?, "Ranking Every Arsenal Summer Transfer Window Since 2002," 11 Aug. 2019 He's made some good decisions in three tidy signings, and shipped out a fair bit of the deadwood to start United on their road to a total cleanse., "Manchester United: Who Is to Blame? II," 9 Oct. 2019 Shifting out expensive deadwood is more of an urgent priority., "Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic Won't Sign for a Spanish Club Despite Social Media Tease," 30 Oct. 2019 When the coach arrived from Bayern Munich in 2016, there was a lot of deadwood hanging around the Etihad., "Why Pep Guardiola's Claim That Man City 'Are Still Not Ready' to Win Champions League Is Laughable," 24 Oct. 2019 The Sangre de Christo Wilderness, like many parts of the Rocky Mountain region, is choked with beetle kill trees, stands of deadwood that can feed fires and pose extreme overhead risks to firefighters. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "“Are we guardians or gardeners?” Decker fire highlights debate about how to fight wildfires in wilderness areas," 15 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deadwood.' 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 deadwood


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for deadwood

Time Traveler

The first known use of deadwood was in the 15th century

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Statistics for deadwood

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deadwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for deadwood


How to pronounce Deadwood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deadwood

: people or things that are not useful or helpful in achieving a goal
: dead wood on a tree

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deadwood Encyclopedia article about deadwood

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