wooden

adjective
wood·en | \ˈwu̇-dᵊn \

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 \ 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

Port Washington Breakwater This Art Deco-style lighthouse replaced an older wooden structure in 1935 as part of a Works Progress Administration project. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 spectacular Lake Michigan lighthouses to visit in Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 PEOPLE‘s first-ever podcast, Cover-Up, dives into the Chappaquiddick scandal and attempts to piece together what happened in the hours after Ted Kennedy’s car went over a narrow wooden bridge, killing his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne. Elaine Aradillas, PEOPLE.com, "'I'm Sorry ... I'm About to Die': Mom Carjacked and Killed in Front of 3 Kids While Taking Them to Summer Program," 13 June 2018 Today the bulk of Hanapepe’s original colorful and rustic nearly century-old wooden structures still stand, lending the bohemian village an authentic Old West vibe. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 20 Best Small Towns To Visit in 2018," 5 June 2018 For the occasion, the club’s lodge, a rustic and well-loved wooden structure perched adjacent to the pools, was packed with club members, young and old. Beth Spotswood, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF’s grand old man of fly-fishing in Golden Gate Park," 16 May 2018 Pakistani rescuers have recovered two more bodies of students who fell into a river when an old wooden bridge collapsed in Kashmir, bringing the death toll to seven. Fox News, "Divers recover 2 more bodies from Kashmir bridge collapse," 14 May 2018 Instead, the heir to the Kennedy political dynasty took a wrong turn and drove his black Oldsmobile off a wooden bridge in the dark. NBC News, "With 'Chappaquiddick,' Ted Kennedy scandal gets its Hollywood close-up," 7 Apr. 2018 In the May case, the woman described abuse involving Moss beating his children with a wooden spoon dating back to November 2017. Ian Duncan, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Police detective suspended after judge orders him to give up gun in domestic violence case," 13 July 2018 The bodies reached Hart Island on a ferry like all the others, in spare wooden boxes and bound for ignominious mass interment off the coast of the Bronx where New York City buries its unclaimed dead by the hundreds in long, shallow trenches. Corey Kilgannon, New York Times, "Dead of AIDS and Forgotten in Potter’s Field," 3 July 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

16 Oct 2018

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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 \

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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