Definition of wooden
1 : made or consisting of wood
2 : lacking ease or flexibility : awkwardly stiff a wooden speech a wooden performer
woodennessplay \ˈwu̇-dən-(n)əs\ noun
wooden was our Word of the Day on 10/10/2015. Hear the podcast!
Examples of wooden in a Sentence
The guest speaker was wooden and uninspiring.
a movie with wooden dialogue
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.
First Known Use of wooden
WOODEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of wooden for English Language Learners
: made of wood
: awkward or stiff : not having or showing any emotion, energy, etc.
WOODEN Defined for Kids
Definition of wooden for Students
1 : made of wood
2 : lacking spirit, ease, or charm a wooden manner
Seen and Heard
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