Definition of wood in US English:



  • 1The hard fibrous material that forms the main substance of the trunk or branches of a tree or shrub.

    • ‘Just as well, because hickory, long the wood of choice, is in short supply.’
    • ‘China, Thailand, and India are their main markets for timber, but most wood is exported illegally.’
    • ‘The bark of the tree is grey and often deeply furrowed on older trees, while the wood inside the trunk is yellow.’
    • ‘Two of the rusty glazing pins emerged from the wood.’
    • ‘There was a continual cracking noise that was the wood of the trunk splitting.’
    • ‘First, the axes glance off the tree, the wood is so hard to cut.’
    • ‘This sugar is stored in the wood of the tree during the winter and converted into sap.’
    • ‘After a given time the tree is harvested and the generated callus tissue remains as an artificial and dateable scar in the wood.’
    • ‘Throughout, natural materials such as woods will mix with high-tech lighting and recycled metal and glass.’
    • ‘If he looked closely enough, he could also see gauge marks in the wood.’
    • ‘It is here that the study of axe marks in the wood comes in.’
    • ‘In medieval Europe, a red (or, sometimes, yellow) food colour known as sanders was extracted from the wood.’
    • ‘Remember to use either preservative-treated material or naturally rot-resistant woods such as cedar or redwood.’
    • ‘Alaine distractedly pulled the dark green - feathered shaft from the door, but it broke in two, leaving the arrowhead stuck in the wood.’
    • ‘Overhead, as he looked up through this rift in the wood, shone great golden stars looking unfamiliar and grouped in strange constellations.’
    • ‘Melissa lifted the club straight up during her backswing, thus straightening her body-as if she were chopping wood.’
    1. 1.1 Wood when cut and used as timber or fuel.
      ‘a large table made of dark, polished wood’
      ‘best quality woods were used for joinery’
      as modifier ‘a wood cross’
      • ‘Inside, a long corridor of dark polished wood resembles a top-class hotel and is rather intimidating.’
      • ‘The block made of teak wood has the design etched on it.’
      • ‘The dark mahogany wood on the bed matched well with its surroundings.’
      • ‘The white paint on the porch was peeling, long years of standing was wearing away at the timber wood planks on the floor, creaking with every step.’
      • ‘The bar - a pleasantly traditional country pub affair with plenty of dark, polished wood and some great beers on offer - was busy but by no means bursting.’
      • ‘He said that in Jepara, the center of Central Java's furniture industry, the quality of teak wood was poor.’
      • ‘You are much less likely to be arrested for destroying London trees if you buy planks of wood from a local timber merchant.’
      • ‘This room is painted a sunny yellow and the cottage style units are in polished dark wood.’
      • ‘The majority of the population, about 75%, still relies on the use of wood fuel as their main source of energy.’
      • ‘Inside it is a confection of dark polished wood, shining brass and comfortable banquettes.’
      • ‘Although the timber could be used for wood fuel, it was not economic to remove it from the site at present.’
      • ‘The main entrance in the Georgian wing opens into a high, well-lit hallway with a timber floor and white-painted wood panelling.’
      • ‘There is an ocean of dark wood throughout, especially teak, and ceilings, particularly that in the lobby, are designed to look like the interior of a ship.’
      • ‘We're in one of those agreeably over-stuffed rooms in a London hotel - a sort of library-cum-smoking room, all polished wood and dark walls.’
      • ‘Recycled material was used for the soft furnishings, wood and timber for the flower boxes etc.’
      • ‘The oil is injected into wood timbers or, if wood is unpainted, applied topically to soak in.’
      • ‘This will become the first housing scheme in the UK to be communally heated with piped hot water from a single boiler fuelled by waste wood from local timber.’
      • ‘The box resembles the gabled roof of old houses, and is highly ornamented with good quality moulded wood on rosewood.’
      • ‘The Bay Island Drift Wood Museum displays wood sculptures collected and moulded by a schoolteacher over a period of 22 years.’
      • ‘It was heavy, made of dark wood and polished to a fine sheen.’
      timber, planks, planking
      firewood, kindling, logs
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A golf club with a wooden or other head that is relatively broad from face to back (often with a numeral indicating the degree to which the face is angled to loft the ball).
      • ‘He holed out using a five wood for his second shot.’
      • ‘Our panel reviewed drivers, fairway woods, irons, wedges, putters, balls and hybrid clubs.’
      • ‘Although it is best known for its metal woods, it also produces irons, golf balls and Odyssey putters.’
      • ‘I'm always fooling with new drivers, fairway woods and putters, but I don't switch very often.’
      • ‘‘Sandy hit one shot with a metal wood into a left-to-right wind that only one or two other players in the world could hit,’ he enthuses.’
      • ‘Woods opts for a three wood instead of a driver and smashes the ball into the first cut of rough on the left.’
      • ‘Fairway woods simply make it easier to hit the ball and get it in the air off the grass.’
      • ‘Carry two putters, a fifth wood - whatever you feel comfortable with.’
      • ‘If you hit your driver too low and slice it, you might be better off driving with a fairway wood or even a middle iron to get the ball in play.’
      • ‘On the range, use your driver or fairway wood and put the ball on a tee.’
      • ‘Most players are hitting long irons and fairway woods for the second shot to a green complex that faces north and has plenty of shade.’
      • ‘All lines feature woods with high lofts, thin grips and lightweight graphite shafts.’
      • ‘You are better served carrying four or five woods, a putter and the rest irons.’
      • ‘I am an enthusiastic if occasional golfer: I can hit the ball well with my woods, but have little control over my irons.’
      • ‘Stads turns his shoulders at least 90 degrees on every full swing, irons and woods.’
      • ‘‘With the new equipment, with the metal woods and the new balls, it's very hard to shape the shots,’ he explained.’
      • ‘Oversize heads, insert putters and no-hosel woods were around at the turn of the century.’
      • ‘If towering long irons and fairway woods are the goal, I'm afraid no ball will restore your ego.’
      • ‘The precious cargo of two dozen gutta-perch balls, three woods, three irons and a putter arrived at the doorstep of John Reid's new home in Yonkers not a day too soon.’
      • ‘I took out a four wood, teed up a ball between the wooden slats of the platform and hit it cleanly over the hoardings and apartment building rooftops and into the baseball park.’
    3. 1.3 A golf shot made with a wood.
      • ‘On tight holes, hit a lofted wood off the tee instead of the driver, or even a middle iron.’
      • ‘Chris Ferris's effort coming with a three wood second shot at the par four 4th hole.’
      • ‘Butfoy looks at tee shots, fairway woods, iron shots, playing from the rough, bunker play, chipping and putting.’
      • ‘Whereupon he wildly hit a wood shot into the creek and took a 7.’
      • ‘He crushes a three wood with his second shot, which comes up 30 yards shy of the green.’
  • 2An area of land, smaller than a forest, that is covered with growing trees.

    ‘a thick hedge divided the wood from the field’
    ‘a long walk in the woods’
    • ‘Completely annoyed with his father and the fact he couldn't be with Alexis he jumped down and walked off into the woods bordering his land.’
    • ‘To the back of the house is a wood, parkland and spinney.’
    • ‘One day as the young man and his wife went walking in the woods, he grew weary of the weight of his fiddle.’
    • ‘But ponderosas aren't the only trees in the western woods, and different forests require different solutions.’
    • ‘Much as I love walking through woods and forests, I prefer doing so in a cooler season.’
    • ‘The course had awkward cambers on the woods and hillside areas with greasy mud and ice much in evidence.’
    • ‘In this way it keeps growing outward and the tree expands to form a small wood or even a forest under its massive canopy or umbrella.’
    • ‘Though much of the land was cleared of trees, nevertheless forests and woods remained a vital resource, particularly for fuel and building material.’
    • ‘This species of tick is commonly found in fields, woods and grassy areas.’
    • ‘Cautiously, Ian left the cover of the woods and walked slowly across the small narrow beach along the lakeshore.’
    • ‘The south side of the village did not exist and was covered in woods according to early maps of the area.’
    • ‘No forests, woods or scrub lands are burning out of control.’
    • ‘He knows the names of the specimen trees and woods which cover just under half the estate.’
    • ‘We'd spend ours playing in the field area near the woods and around the complex.’
    • ‘Trees grown in woods and forests do not suffer from this anywhere nearly as badly as lone trees that don't have any neighbours to shelter behind.’
    • ‘Going over the map in his mind of this area of Alqish, he noted that the woods deepened into forest.’
    • ‘Its habitat is generally upland meadows or woods in mountainous areas.’
    • ‘While U.S. campers backpack through woods and forest lands, Malaysian campers trek through the jungle.’
    • ‘It is hidden away and surrounded by park land and woods, with views to the north over Dunbar to the Firth of Forth.’
    • ‘It is an area dense with the thick woods and craggy terrain of a largely virgin Arctic rain forest.’
    forest, woodland, trees
    View synonyms


  • knock on wood

    • Said in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck.

      ‘I haven't been banned yet, knock on wood’
      • ‘I used direct deposit, it hasn't been a problem as of yet, knock on wood.’
      • ‘This hasn't happened to me yet, touch wood, but you have only to approach a speed camera on a free-flowing road to realise that it must happen fairly often.’
      • ‘He would throw salt over his shoulder and knock on wood just for good luck, I didn't learn this until I lived with him.’
      • ‘So far we have only had one trip to York District Hospital (fingers crossed, touch wood and spit for luck) after he ran head first into the fireplace and got a bruised lump roughly the size of a pickled egg on his noggin.’
      • ‘I did have to call a moratorium on all the email I'd accumulated but I think (fingers crossed, touch wood, any other superstitious luck gatherer you can think of) that I'm just about sorted.’
      • ‘We haven't had a fatal accident in the village yet, touch wood, but we don't want to sit back and wait for that to happen.’
      • ‘And so hopefully, you know, knock on wood, we'll get to do a second season, and that will be one for next year.’
      • ‘So at the moment, touch wood, we have not got reports of epidemics, but it would be foolish for us to assume that we're through the worst.’
      • ‘Although, knock on wood, I have never fallen victim to this affliction, I can think of few things scarier, and I very well may have a rush of fear like the one I'm experiencing right now this time every winter for the rest of my life.’
      • ‘On the other hand people still avoid walking under ladders and knock on wood and cross their fingers in order to guard there luck.’
      hope for the best
      View synonyms
  • out of the wood (or woods)

    • Out of danger or difficulty.

      • ‘Observers, however, do not doubt that the company is well down the recovery track - if not quite out of the woods.’
      • ‘Authorities are making sure that they emphasize the fact that they're not out of the woods.’
      • ‘But the club is not out of the woods yet - despite a deal being done to keep the Bantams playing at Valley Parade next season.’
      • ‘So I have a feeling that it's not reasonable for us to expect that all of a sudden next week we're out of the woods.’
      • ‘Her doctor said, Yes, she's out of the woods, with a quickening and lightening of his voice.’
      • ‘Johnville will know as well as anyone that they are not out of the woods as yet, despite their gallant showing in Tramore last week.’
      • ‘I think we're just about out of the woods on this whole New Year's thing.’
      • ‘‘I would just say that we are not out of the woods on that yet either,’ he claimed.’
      • ‘But the polls show that McConnell is far from being out of the woods.’
      • ‘Neither he nor his illustrious brother seem out of the woods yet.’
  • get wood

    • vulgar slang Have an erection.


Old English wudu, from a Germanic word related to Welsh gwŷdd ‘trees’.