Definition of dead wood in English:

dead wood


  • 1[mass noun] Parts of a tree or branch which are dead.

    • ‘Remove weak and crossing branches and dead wood.’
    • ‘I like spending time in the woods, when i lived in the countryside I used to collect dead wood with my bow saw for my woodburner-stove, and I appreciated the atmosphere.’
    • ‘Prune any dead wood evident on trees, but avoid trimming spring-flowering shrubs.’
    • ‘Try to leave some selected sections of dead wood on a tree, to provide nesting homes for birds.’
    • ‘The colour of the branches depends on what dead wood and leaf litter it is growing upon.’
    • ‘We obtained 147 samples from living trees and 1005 from dead wood.’
    • ‘New life pushes out from what often looks like dead wood, and it is the time of the year when the weather really starts to change as well.’
    • ‘The great tree is an ancient spire of dead wood, made of lignin and cellulose by the ancestors of the thin layer of living cells that go to constitute its bark.’
    • ‘Just cut out dead wood - canes that are dark brown or gray - and trim away occasional branches that clog the inside of the plant, to promote good air circulation.’
    • ‘Maples generally need little pruning, other than to remove root suckers and dead wood or branches that cross or grow too low.’
    • ‘Someone will have to scale a ladder periodically to keep the vines from attacking shutters and shingles and to prune out dead wood.’
    • ‘The dead wood, which makes a tree so scenic and historic, is not absent from the life processes of the tree.’
    • ‘When we had unsaddled the horses and unpacked our kit I began gathering dead wood so I might have plenty for our fire.’
    • ‘Because dead wood is immune to termites and wood-rotting fungi, large trees can take a millennium to weather away after dying.’
    • ‘The Anvil Lopper is designed for pruning dry or dead wood.’
    • ‘Lightning fires cleared the woods of brush, dead wood, and an overabundance of young trees.’
    • ‘Prune plants to regulate size, renew growth, develop plant form and orient branches and remove dead wood.’
    • ‘Signs of structural instability include cracks in the trunk or major limbs, hollow or decayed areas, or excessive dead wood.’
    • ‘Old shrubs, such as spiraea, forsythia, lilac, and honeysuckle, often become overgrown and full of crowded stems and dead wood.’
    • ‘It was neglected in the recent past and tree surgeons have been busy removing dead wood to make the area safer.’
    1. 1.1People or things that are no longer useful or productive.
      ‘a lot of the company's dead wood was removed by voluntary redundancy’
      • ‘I believe this system could work and that it could help rid the Premiership of its dead wood.’
      • ‘The intelligentsia's passion was for the avant-garde - the green and growing extremities of culture rather than the dead wood of tradition.’
      • ‘If you have deadwood in a research university, you are cutting against the whole purpose of that university.’
      • ‘We'll never beat Australia carrying dead wood and those two players are dead wood - but I wouldn't drop them.’
      • ‘Tradition is no deadwood, but a tree that grows and sprouts through the changing seasons.’
      • ‘With Nixon's full support, he was determined to become the real head of the Intelligence Community and to clean house at CIA by eliminating deadwood and cutting costs.’
      • ‘The Legislature wanted the committee to remove dead wood provisions from the Maryland Constitution.’
      • ‘Or, for once just once the Liberal Party could act like a professional machine and toss out dead wood.’
      • ‘Time to cut the dead wood and restore the pride to this great school.’
      • ‘But surely now is the time to take the bull by the horns and ditch the deadwood.’
      • ‘Even in Derry I had to get rid of some dead wood and bring in new lads.’
      • ‘Despite the fact that they have a lot of dead wood, like me (and yes, there are countless others), the company has managed to do very well throughout this recent recession.’
      • ‘Andrew Runciman confided: ‘There's a lot of dead wood in the public sector that needs sorting out.’’
      • ‘Besides, the economy won't resume rapid growth until deadwood has been cut out, making it possible for companies to start investing again in assets that are priced to earn healthy profits.’
      • ‘They will also seek to get rid of dead wood in our State Parliament.’
      • ‘Mostly this process will clear away a lot of dead wood, discrediting a crowd of mediocre directors and actors that no one will care about in two years' time.’
      • ‘By throwing out the careerists and dead wood they can begin the job of turning the union into an organisation that's strong enough to defend the interests of all its members against those of the employer.’
      • ‘Frankly, it's amazing that the Yankees accomplished all that they did last season with so much offensive deadwood.’
      • ‘Boards and legislatures have insisted on post-tenure review as a way of ensuring faculty responsibility and of getting rid of supposed deadwood.’
      • ‘The only acceptable, pragmatic stance here is to seek to transform religion: to draw out its source code, remove its dead wood, and reconstruct it without its legalism.’


dead wood