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

Other Words from wooden

woodenly adverb
woodenness \ ˈwu̇-​dᵊn-​(n)əs How to pronounce wooden (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 That wooden structure will soar to 284 feet above the Milwaukee city streets, taking the crown as the world's tallest, a mere four feet higher than Mjøstårnet. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 10 May 2022 Kaş also offers diving, gület (traditional wooden boat) tours and even the chance to go overseas. Lisa Morrow, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 His wooden boat is naggingly familiar to anyone from northern Europe: high, pinched bow and stern; as slippery as a fish. James Stewart, Robb Report, 23 Apr. 2022 Across the street in the vast parking lot of what used to be a Piggly Wiggly grocery store, several wooden pallets await the arrival of tons of goods and medical supplies that will be shipped to Ukraine. Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2022 Earlier this month, a wooden boat carrying hundreds of migrants grounded in shallow water off Key Largo, and 163 people swam ashore near the Ocean Reef Club. Danica Cotto And Freida Frisara, orlandosentinel.com, 15 Mar. 2022 Earlier this month, a wooden boat carrying hundreds of migrants grounded in shallow water off Key Largo, and 163 people swam ashore near the Ocean Reef Club. Danica Coto, sun-sentinel.com, 15 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, the price of wooden pallets was tripling. New York Times, 14 Mar. 2022 The move was so above-board that the administration sent an unmarked cargo plane to Tehran, filled with wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs, and other currencies. David Harsanyi, National Review, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of wooden

1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best wooden toys.

Learn More About wooden

Listen to Our Podcast About wooden

Dictionary Entries Near wooden

wooded

wooden

wooden brick

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for wooden

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wooden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wooden. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for wooden

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wooden

Nglish: Translation of wooden for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wooden for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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