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

Some stock tank swimming pool owners add surrounding rock tiles to provide makeshift flooring, while others splurge on premium wooden decks and siding. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Stock Tank Pools Will Be More Popular Than Ever This Summer," 9 May 2019 Instead, Jo says makeup artists light the end of wooden sticks (typically used for tteokbokki, Korean rice cakes), on fire before blowing it out and pressing them against lashes to curl them. Devon Abelman, Allure, "These Are the Biggest Makeup Trends in South Korea in 2019," 8 May 2019 While the cast ate from wooden bowls and swigged from goblets (except for Tormund, who chugged his drink from a horn), the coffee cup was definitely out of place. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Rogue Coffee Cup in Game of Thrones Has Been Edited Out," 7 May 2019 Archaeologists found wooden posts that seemed to mark the route of the trackway, which seemed to lead up to a platform, Kennedy writes. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Neolithic Roadway, Possibly a Ritual Site, Discovered in England," 2 July 2018 The slightly oval-shaped structure was nearly 80 feet long, 65 feet wide, and was held up by about 150 individual wooden posts. National Geographic, "Ancient Native American King's House Rediscovered in Florida," 13 June 2018 But after more work in the area on Tuesday, the only evidence of the sinkhole was four short wooden posts and a rectangle of slightly greener grass. Betsy Klein, CNN, "Let it sink in: The White House sinkhole is no more," 29 May 2018 Never mind the wooden lamp post, rotten, fallen on its face like a corpse in the wet grass, which needs to be cut. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "CT Poet To Share Her Beloved's Journey Through Alzheimer's At Sunken Garden Fest," 17 May 2018 Miranda-Alosno then picked up a 4-foot-long wooden post on the ground and swung it at the agent, the complaint says. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Two arrested in separate assault attempts on Border Patrol agents," 12 May 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

15 May 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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