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soft·​wood ˈsȯft-ˌwu̇d How to pronounce softwood (audio)
: the wood of a coniferous tree (such as a fir or pine) whether hard or soft as distinguished from that of an angiospermous tree
: a tree that yields softwood


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: having or made of softwood

Example Sentences

Noun pines, firs, and other softwoods
Recent Examples on the Web
It becomes fully grown after about seven years, has the tensile strength of steel, and absorbs and stores more carbon than softwood trees. Hannah Selinger, Travel + Leisure, 7 Mar. 2023 If using softwood, such as pine or cedar, consider cutting the parts slightly thicker and wider to give the bed frame the necessary strength and rigidity. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, 24 Mar. 2021 The Associated General Contractors of America wrote to Mr. Biden in February, urging him to reach a new softwood lumber agreement with Canada to help alleviate a lumber shortage in the United States. New York Times, 3 May 2021 Its laminated softwood top measures 1.25-inches thick by 14-inches wide by 40-inches long. Jack Baruth, Popular Mechanics, 29 Mar. 2023 As a result, lumber shipments are backed up and simply can't match the strong demand from homebuilders nor the late 2021 demand surge for lumber as buyers try to lock in prices before U.S. tariffs on Canadian softwood double next year. Fortune, 22 Dec. 2021 Doors and windows are cut into the container and it is clad with materials such as Kebony, a pine softwood treated to give it the same qualities as Ipé. Regina Cole, Forbes, 4 Mar. 2021 Canada's boreal forest, which is comprised of softwood used for tissue, is the largest remaining intact forest on the planet and stores the carbon equivalent of twice the world's recoverable oil reserves. Danielle Bernabe, Fortune, 21 June 2021 As a result of this and other factors, Fastmarkets RISI predicts U.S. softwood lumber consumption will drop 1.4% year over year in 2022. Will Daniel, Fortune, 7 Aug. 2022
The 1862 Homestead Act propelled the popularity of softwood construction. Anne Quito, Quartz, 26 May 2021 Put it this way: For most softwood trim installation, this nailer is a good choice. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 19 Oct. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'softwood.' 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


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of softwood was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near softwood

Cite this Entry

“Softwood.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the wood of a tree (as a pine or fir) that produces cones as compared to that of a tree (as a maple) that is a broad-leaved flowering plant compare hardwood sense 1
: a tree that produces softwood

More from Merriam-Webster on softwood

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