soft·​wood | \ ˈsȯft-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce softwood (audio) \

Definition of softwood

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the wood of a coniferous tree (such as a fir or pine) whether hard or soft as distinguished from that of an angiospermous tree
2 : a tree that yields softwood



Definition of softwood (Entry 2 of 2)

: having or made of softwood

Examples of softwood in a Sentence

Noun pines, firs, and other softwoods
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Much of this travel is done along transition zones between hardwood and softwood green growth areas. Hal Blood, Outdoor Life, "3 Great Places to Take a Stand in the Big Woods," 10 Nov. 2020 This colored scanning electron micrograph shows a bundle of tracheids in a softwood toothpick. Andrea Gawrylewski, Scientific American, "Bundles of Plant-Water-Transportation Cells Resemble Snake Eyes," 9 Oct. 2020 Solid wood molding typically comes in two camps: pine (a softwood), which is relatively inexpensive and can be stained or painted, and hardwood (ash, oak, or walnut are common choices), which can also be stained or painted. Sarah Baird, House Beautiful, "Molding," 14 Sep. 2020 Even a huge increase in the cost of softwood lumber hasn’t slowed demand. Dallas News, "This is what recovery looks like: D-FW builders rack up record sales despite high lumber prices and COVID-19," 26 Aug. 2020 Those calculations led the Trump administration to impose a 20% tariff on Canadian softwood lumber, typically used to build homes, at a cost of roughly $5 billion a year. Paul Vieira, WSJ, "World Trade Organization Sides With Canada in Lumber Dispute With U.S.," 24 Aug. 2020 Most standard deck stains are meant for softwood decking. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Choose The Right Material For Your Deck," 7 June 2020 The plant would use a mix of softwood and scrap sourced from mills within a 75-mile radius. William Thornton |, al, "Is biomass good for Alabama, the environment?," 12 Oct. 2019 Ross Stock has known since last spring that his softwood lumber mill in Toledo would be subject to Oregon’s new, $1 billion business tax. oregonlive, "Oregon’s unique, billion-dollar business tax greeted with confusion, consternation," 19 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Put it this way: For most softwood trim installation, this nailer is a good choice. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Cordless Nail Guns," 19 Oct. 2020

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


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1855, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for softwood

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The first known use of softwood was in 1809

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Last Updated

22 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Softwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for softwood


How to pronounce softwood (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of softwood

: the wood of a tree (such as a pine tree) that is soft and easy to cut
: a tree that produces softwood


soft·​wood | \ ˈsȯft-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce softwood (audio) \

Kids Definition of softwood

: the wood of a tree (as a pine or spruce) that has needles as distinguished from the wood of a tree (as a maple) with broad leaves

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