wood

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • suffix
    (written as -wood)
    referring to wood

Agriculture

  • noun a large number of trees growing together
  • noun a hard tissue which forms the main stem and branches of a tree
  • noun a construction material that comes from trees

Military

  • noun an area of ground covered by trees

Slang

  • noun a shortened form of peckerwood
  • noun an erection, as in get wood

Wine

  • the taste of a wine that has been aged in oak barrels

Origin & History of “wood”

The ancestral meaning of wood is probably ‘collection of trees, forest’; ‘tree’ (now obsolete) and ‘substance from which trees are made’ are secondary developments. The word goes back to prehistoric Germanic *widuz, which also produced Swedish and Danish ved ‘firewood’, and it has Celtic relatives in Gaelic fiodh ‘wood, woods’, Welsh gwydd ‘trees’, and Breton gwez ‘trees’. Its ultimate source is not known for certain, although it has been suggested that it may go back to the Indo-European base *weidh- ‘separate’ (source also of English divide and widow). According to this theory, it would originally have denoted a ‘separated’ or ‘remote’ piece of territory, near the outer edge or borders of known land; and since such remote, uninhabited areas were usually wooded, it came to denote ‘forest’ (forest itself may mean etymologically ‘outside area’, and the Old Norse word for ‘forest’, mork, originally signified ‘border area’).
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