sap·​wood ˈsap-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce sapwood (audio)
: the younger softer living or physiologically active outer portion of wood that lies between the cambium and the heartwood and is more permeable, less durable, and usually lighter in color than the heartwood

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Such wounds usually do not knit back together, even if the branch is secured back into place; the tissues that the interrupted sapwood kept alive will dry out and die on the growth past the break. Miri Talabac,, 24 Feb. 2022 The discoloration extends into the tissue as far as the sapwood, which contains the functioning vascular tissue. oregonlive, 23 Jan. 2022 Use a water repellent on all exterior redwood, especially for sapwood-containing grades. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 29 May 2021 There are also grades available containing some sapwood, which will be a bit cheaper. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, 29 May 2021 Researchers have successfully used a 1-cubic-inch block of pine sapwood as a water filter. Popular Science, 2 Nov. 2020 The sapwood’s structure already performs a filtering action in the living wood, screening out air bubbles from the tree sap. Popular Science, 2 Nov. 2020 First, the woodpeckers drill through the resinous sapwood, stopping occasionally to let the sap build up on the exterior, which forms a protective plate around the two-to-three-inch-wide entry hole. National Geographic, 17 Sep. 2020 The construction-common and deck-common grades of redwood decking are both streaked with sapwood and contain knots. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 7 June 2020 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sapwood was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near sapwood

Cite this Entry

“Sapwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


sap·​wood -ˌwu̇d How to pronounce sapwood (audio)
: the young sap-containing and usually lighter-colored wood found just beneath the bark of a tree compare heartwood

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