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


She's determined to get the deadwood out of the company. a healthy tree with no deadwood

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Selling Matic would represent a further cleanse of the deadwood that has characterised the Solskjaer era, although doing it any sooner than summer would leave the squad too thin., "​Manchester United Should Let the 'Frustrated' Nemanja Matic Leave Next Summer," 17 Sep. 2019 The arrival of the emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of trees in suburban Maryland, providing woodpeckers with deadwood and also loads of grubs to feed on. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "The percussive appeal of the woodpecker," 17 July 2019 Flames along the ground eliminated deadwood, duff and grasses, yet spared trees., "Amid winding mountain roads, a village pushes back its encroaching fire threat," 23 July 2019 Everyone else is still around because United have failed to remove the rotting deadwood., "Man Utd's Summer Tour Squad Was Not the One Fans Wanted to See When Last Season Finished," 8 July 2019 One problem for landowners is disposing of deadwood. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "California’s Paradise Lost," 12 Nov. 2018 The Blaugrana are on a mission to remove deadwood from the squad this summer, and the Toffees are one of a handful of clubs eager to snap up a number of deals ahead of the new season., "Everton Make Enquiry for Barcelona Striker After Spanish Giants Open Door for £30m Deal," 7 July 2018 To do will require some clearing of deadwood from Ernesto Valverde's title winning squad., "Report Names 11 Players Who Are Tipped to Leave Barcelona This Summer to Make Way for New Arrivals," 25 June 2018 Pellegrini may have to shift some of the deadwood first though, as reports suggest Real Madrid could demand as much as €50m for their prized asset, with Los Blancos seemingly in no hurry to sell., "West Ham Approach Real Madrid for Wantaway Midfield Star Mateo Kovačić," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for deadwood

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for deadwood

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

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English Language Learners Definition of deadwood

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

More from Merriam-Webster on deadwood

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

Comments on deadwood

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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