iron·​wood | \ ˈī(-ə)rn-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce ironwood (audio) \

Definition of ironwood

1 : any of numerous trees and shrubs (such as a hornbeam or hop hornbeam) with exceptionally tough or hard wood
2 : the wood of an ironwood

Examples of ironwood in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Where aspens are scarce or absent, important winter foods include the buds and catkins of apple, alder, birch, black cottonwood, cherry, ironwood, willow, and cedar. Dave Hurteau, Field & Stream, "How to Hunt Ruffed Grouse," 24 Dec. 2020 Persian ironwood and paperbark maple are two sleepers that are hard to find in the garden centers but worth the effort. Howard Garrett, Dallas News, "Maples, oaks, elms and more: These are the best trees for North Texas," 19 Nov. 2020 Other trees to rival maples with riotous hues of red, orange and yellow simultaneously are the tupelo and Persian ironwood. oregonlive, "These plants will bring fall color and fragrance to Oregon gardens," 6 Nov. 2020 Mexican sycamore, Texas ash, Persian ironwood, loquat leaf oak, desert willow, ginkgo, trident maple, Mexican plum and Walter’s viburnum. Dallas News, "Placement is key when planting trees," 12 Oct. 2020 Kevin Hultine, plant physiologist at the Desert Botanical Garden, said saguaro seedlings require species such as mesquite, palo verde and ironwood trees to make it through those first critical decades. Debra Utacia Krol, azcentral, "Will the iconic saguaro cactus start to disappear from parts of the Southwest?," 18 June 2020 Leading a tour of the site, Alberto Ruiz of Pronatura Noroeste showed off a nursery where a worker with a hose was watering hundreds of tiny trees, including honey mesquites, ironwoods, and willows. Ian James,, "How a trickle of water is breathing life into the parched Colorado River Delta," 19 Apr. 2020 Urban pointed out ironwood trees, white cedars and hemlocks. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Winter yurt camping in the Porcupine Mountains is great for beginners," 6 Feb. 2020 Esposito described trees as a natural cooling system, and native trees such as mesquite, ironwoods and palo verdes have the added benefit of being able to endure the Valley's harsh climate. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "Plant a fruit tree this fall. Your neighbors will thank you," 12 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ironwood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ironwood

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ironwood

Time Traveler for ironwood

Time Traveler

The first known use of ironwood was in 1657

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ironwood

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ironwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on ironwood Encyclopedia article about ironwood

Comments on ironwood

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!