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 The $60 sushi party platter is literally a boatload of fish, with 10 pieces of sushi, 10 slices of sashimi and four rolls served in a wooden boat. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: Kaizen Sushi Bar in Fort Lauderdale shines with quality and value," 20 Nov. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods that have wooden homes in low-lying areas. Washington Post, "Dorian triggers massive flooding in Bahamas; at least 5 dead," 3 Sep. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods that have wooden homes in low-lying areas. Dánica Coto, Twin Cities, "Dorian triggers massive flooding in Bahamas; at least 5 dead," 2 Sep. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods, with wooden homes in low-lying areas. Ramón Espinosa, BostonGlobe.com, "Dorian batters Bahamas with record-setting winds," 2 Sep. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods that have wooden homes in low-lying areas. Anchorage Daily News, "At least 5 dead as Dorian triggers massive flooding in Bahamas," 2 Sep. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods, with wooden homes in low-lying areas. Fox News, "Hurricane Dorian strikes Bahamas: Homes severely damaged, cars overturned, power lines down," 2 Sep. 2019 Risks are higher in poorer neighborhoods, with wooden homes in low-lying areas. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian thrashing Bahamas as Florida starts to feel effects of Category 5 storm," 1 Sep. 2019 Separate anything that can catch fire — potholders, oven mitts, wooden spoons, paper or plastic bags, dishtowels, etc. Houston Chronicle, "Houston Apartment Association: Follow holiday cooking safety tips in your apartment," 23 Nov. 2019

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

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Wooden.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/woodenest. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for wooden

wooden

adjective
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.

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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