heart·​wood ˈhärt-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce heartwood (audio)
: the older harder nonliving central wood of trees that is usually darker, denser, less permeable, and more durable than the surrounding sapwood

Examples of heartwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Her research also led her to local practices, including Hardanger embroidery, in which white linen or cloth is adorned with lacelike patterns in white thread, and the method of dyeing textiles using heartwood from logwood trees, which imbues fabric with a purplish tinge. New York Times, 16 Apr. 2021 The dead wood can be major roots or the heartwood in the center of the trunk that gives the tree its strength. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 12 June 2023 Built by post-and-beam aficionado Tedd Benson of Bensonwood, the home features timber framing with heartwood pine beams, ceilings of tongue-and-groove pine, and Santos mahogany flooring. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Apr. 2023 The brown rot could be a fungus rotting out the oak’s heartwood. oregonlive, 26 Mar. 2023 Floors are the original antique heartwood pine. Sarah Paynter, WSJ, 28 Jan. 2022 Meaning that while the tree is alive, the fungus is actively decaying the roots and the heartwood in the lower portion of the trunk. oregonlive, 18 Dec. 2022 Yet in its heartwood, Future Library is just another time capsule—a popular response since the nineteenth century to the feeling of impending doom. Eleanor Cummins, The New Republic, 14 Oct. 2022 Houses have worn many species of wood over the years, but the two main types of wood siding are red and white cedar, both of which are naturally rot-resistant due to the fragrant tannic acids found in their heartwood. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heartwood.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1575, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heartwood was circa 1575

Dictionary Entries Near heartwood

Cite this Entry

“Heartwood.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heartwood. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


heart·​wood -ˌwu̇d How to pronounce heartwood (audio)
: the older harder nonliving and usually darker wood of the central part of a tree trunk compare sapwood

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