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Alternative forms[edit]


From wood +‎ -en. Dates from 1530s, gradually replaced treen (made from a tree), from Middle English treen, from Old English trīwen.


  • IPA(key): /ˈwʊdən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʊdən


wooden (comparative more wooden, superlative most wooden)

  1. Made of wood.
    a wooden boat
    On a recent windy day, hundreds of visitors climbed wooden stairs to take pictures in front of the glacier.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, […], and all these articles […] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
    • 2012 October 8, Daniel W. Patterson, The True Image: Gravestone Art and the Culture of Scotch Irish Settlers in the Pennsylvania and Carolina Backcountry[1], UNC Press Books, →ISBN, page 141:
      The second and third quarters of the shield are indecipherable on the stone but clearer in two other representations of the arms, a painted wooden funeral hatchment for Mary Davie []
  2. (figuratively) As if made of wood; moving awkwardly, or speaking with dull lack of emotion.
    wooden acting

Derived terms[edit]