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 While many Champagne brands come in heavy cardboard or wooden gift boxes, Ruinart will debut new eco-packaging later this year. Elin Mccoy, Bloomberg.com, "Boxed Wine and Vodka Made From CO2: The Green Future of Booze," 10 May 2020 Additional workers are preparing to reopen the downtown Louisville Slugger factory where the iconic wooden baseball bats are made, as manufacturing operations in Kentucky can resume Monday. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Thanks to federal funding, Louisville Slugger maker ends furloughs and restarts factory," 9 May 2020 The custom-designed, recyclable bento box has a cheerful yellow design and a handy compartment for disposable wooden chopsticks. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Eight Bay Area restaurants that nail takeout," 8 May 2020 Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Washington Post, "DoubleTree’s chocolate chip cookie recipe almost tastes like a vacation," 7 May 2020 Gradually bring the heat to medium, slowly stirring with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Easy Desserts Real Home Bakers Are Making In Quarantine," 7 May 2020 After De La Fuente was injured three years ago when an inmate attacked him with a wooden mop. John Maccormack, ExpressNews.com, "De La Fuente loved being a peace officer," 6 May 2020 The other photo shows them dressed more formally, standing in a wooden doorway. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "Erin Napier Shares a Touching Tribute to Her Late Grandmother," 5 May 2020 Using a flat wooden spoon or the side of a large knife, crush the garlic. Rebecca White, Dallas News, "8 essential cooking skills to learn while still stuck at home," 4 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for wooden

Time Traveler

The first known use of wooden was in 1538

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Statistics for wooden

Last Updated

14 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wooden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wooden. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for wooden


How to pronounce wooden (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wooden

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


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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