wooden

adjective
wood·​en | \ ˈwu̇-dᵊn How to pronounce wooden (audio) \

Definition of wooden

1 : made or consisting of wood
2 : lacking ease or flexibility : awkwardly stiff a wooden speech a wooden performer

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Other Words from wooden

woodenly adverb
woodenness \ ˈwu̇-​dᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce woodenness (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Humans have been making objects out of wood since before there even was an English language, but the adjectival use of "wood" didn't come into being until the 14th century, and "wooden" didn't appear until the 16th. (The word wood has ancient roots, but it originally existed only as a noun.) In Middle English, the adjective of choice was "tree" or "treen," as in a "tree vessel" or "treen shoes." "Treen" in turn came from the Old English word trēowen, from the noun "trēow" ("tree") and the suffix -en, which was used to indicate that something was composed of a certain material. As far as we know, no one ever used "treen" figuratively to describe things that are stiff as a board, but "wooden" was put to broader use soon after it was first recorded.

Examples of wooden in a Sentence

The guest speaker was wooden and uninspiring. a movie with wooden dialogue

Recent Examples on the Web

During this week's individual immunity challenge, contestants had to stand on a wooden frame with a block perched between their heads and the top of the structure. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'Survivor' Sparks Controversy for the Show's Reaction to Lauren O'Connell's Scary Fall," 4 Apr. 2019 Asked what the room’s newest addition might be, Roland points out a wooden box on a shelf above his sink. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "The Ghost of Bob Fosse Haunts Will Roland in His Broadway Dressing Room," 4 Apr. 2019 The process is completed until a wooden tower is assembled. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "How to Set Up Camp," 2 Apr. 2019 The Ashanti is a reinterpretation of a traditional Ghanaian stool, while the Boratii was inspired by the wooden headrest found in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Charles Curkin, ELLE Decor, "The Africa-Inspired Furniture Designs of Jomo Tariku Are Just Gorgeous," 1 Apr. 2019 In the photo, the cafe is outfitted with extra large terracotta pots surrounded by lemon trees and is set with wooden tables with plating on top. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Jacquemus Opens Cafe Set To Be An Instagrammable Heaven," 27 Mar. 2019 There, a handful of moms sit clustered on splintering wooden bleachers watching their daughters, ages 9 to 12, play softball. Kate Morgan, Woman's Day, "A New Jersey Softball Team Is Lifting Its City's Spirits," 21 Mar. 2019 Petit Place is a kit of wooden elements that assembles into a variety of sizes ranging from 270 square feet to 10,000 square feet. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "The 7 most impressive prefab homes from 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Todd, a Canadian who arrived years ago to write a novel, now rents a wooden apartment on stilts on the Sidewalk. Horatio Clare, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why You Should Go to Belize Now," 21 Dec. 2018

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

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for wooden

Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wooden

The first known use of wooden was in 1538

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More Definitions for wooden

wooden

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of wooden

: made of wood
: awkward or stiff : not having or showing any emotion, energy, etc.

wooden

adjective
wood·​en | \ ˈwu̇-dᵊn How to pronounce wooden (audio) \

Kids Definition of wooden

1 : made of wood
2 : lacking spirit, ease, or charm a wooden manner

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More from Merriam-Webster on wooden

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wooden

Spanish Central: Translation of wooden

Nglish: Translation of wooden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wooden for Arabic Speakers

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