Definition: Wood

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English wode, from Old English wudu, widu (wood, forest, grove; tree; timber), from Proto-West Germanic *widu, from Proto-Germanic *widuz (wood), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁weydʰh₁- (to separate).

Cognate with Dutch wede (wood, twig), Middle High German wite (wood), Danish ved (wood), Swedish ved (firewood), Icelandic viður (wood). Further cognates include Irish fiodh (a wood, tree), Irish fid (tree) and Welsh gwŷdd (trees); all from Proto-Celtic *widus (wood). Unrelated to Dutch woud (forest), German Wald (forest).


wood (countable and uncountable, plural woods)

  1. The substance making up the central part of the trunk and branches of a tree. Used as a material for construction, to manufacture various items, etc. or as fuel.
    This table is made of wood.
    There was lots of wood on the beach.
  2. The wood of a particular species of tree.
    Teak is much used for outdoor benches, but a number of other woods are also suitable, such as ipé, redwood, etc.
  3. (often plural) A forested or wooded area.
    A wood beyond this moor was viewed as a border area in the seventeenth century.
    He got lost in the woods beyond Seattle.
  4. Firewood.
    We need more wood for the fire.
  5. (golf) A type of golf club, the head of which was traditionally made of wood.
    I am still learning when to use an iron and when to use a wood.
  6. (music) A woodwind instrument.

Usage notes

In the sense of "a forested area", the singular generally refers to a discrete area of forest, while the plural is often used when a more vaguely defined area is meant.

Derived terms

  • applewood
  • backwoods
  • balsawood
  • beechwood
  • birchwood
  • blackwood
  • brushwood
  • cedarwood
  • cherrywood
  • cottonwood
  • deadwood
  • dogwood
  • driftwood
  • elkwood
  • elmwood
  • firewood
  • firwood
  • hardwood
  • Hollywood
  • pinewood
  • plywood
  • redwood
  • rosewood
  • scrapwood
  • tigerwood
  • torchwood
  • underwood
  • wetwood
  • wildwood
  • woodblock
  • woodcarver
  • woodcarving
  • woodchip
  • woodchipper
  • woodchopper
  • woodcutter
  • wood-elf
  • wooden
  • woodland
  • wood lot
  • woodman
  • woodnymph
  • woodpecker
  • woodpile
  • woodshed
  • woodshop
  • woodsman
  • woodsorrel
  • woodstove
  • woodswoman
  • woodwind
  • woodwork


wood (third-person singular simple present woods, present participle wooding, simple past and past participle wooded)

  1. To cover or plant with trees.
  2. To hide behind trees.
  3. To supply with wood, or get supplies of wood for.
    We used to wood the trains back in the day.
  4. To take or get a supply of wood.


New World Encyclopedia writers and editors copied and adjusted this Wiktionary entry in accordance with NWE standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here: