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

In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt, tofu, and milk with a wooden spoon until the mixture looks homogeneous. CBS News, "The Dish: Chef Priya Krishna reveals her signature recipes," 15 June 2019 Break the sausage up with a spatula or wooden spoon. San Diego Union-Tribune, "3 chefs share recipes inspired by their cooking dads," 11 June 2019 Cook, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until liquid is reduced by half, 4 to 6 minutes; remove from heat. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Strip Steak With Lemon Mashed Potatoes," 15 Mar. 2019 Fry stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until golden, 7-10 minutes. Louisa Shafia, WSJ, "How To Be a Happy and Relaxed Host," 10 Jan. 2019 Juvenile complaint, Riverside Park After seeing boys skateboarding on the wooden floor of the shelter at 6:43 p.m. June 2, a woman called police. Joan Rusek, cleveland.com, "Woman’s ex-boyfriend threatens to break man’s kneecaps: Chagrin Falls Police Blotter," 5 June 2019 Transfer the batter to the baking dish, then press it in and level it with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Ashley Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars," 10 Apr. 2019 For example, a deep drawer can be used to store pots and pants or serving dishes, while a shallow drawer on top keeps wooden spoons, ladles, and other utensils organized. Jessica Dailey, Good Housekeeping, "Just Right," 11 Feb. 2019 Buying one of those wooden blocks with a preselected assortment of knives is fine for some people. Francine Maroukian, Popular Mechanics, "How To Buy Kitchen Knives Like a Pro," 24 Oct. 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

26 Jun 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

Comments on wooden

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