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[mach-woo d] /ˈmætʃˌwʊd/
wood suitable for match.
splinters (def 1).
Origin of matchwood
First recorded in 1590-1600; match1 + wood1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for matchwood
Historical Examples
  • The long-boat changed, as if by magic, into matchwood where she stood in her gripes.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • The ends of big timbers in her hull were ground to pulp and matchwood.

    Swept Out to Sea

    W. Bertram Foster
  • She would be beaten up into matchwood, all torn and ragged to pieces.

    Menhardoc George Manville Fenn
  • Her bottom was stove in, her planks and timbers were riven like matchwood.

  • Such was the fury of the gale that everything seemed split to matchwood.

  • If one of the wheels gets into a hole one's box is converted into matchwood.

    The Red Battle Flyer Capt. Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen
  • Then the great weight of the tug would crush the ladder into matchwood.

  • The lances crossed, but that of the Moor broke like matchwood.

  • If they tried fire in such a gale the place would burn like matchwood.

    Huntingtower John Buchan
  • Sixteen times the bridges were on the point of completion, but each time they were reduced to matchwood by the French artillery.

    America's War for Humanity Thomas Herbert Russell
British Dictionary definitions for matchwood


wood suitable for making matches
splinters or fragments: the bomb blew the house to matchwood
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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