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softwood

[sawft-woo d, soft-]
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noun
  1. any wood that is relatively soft or easily cut.
  2. a tree yielding such a wood.
  3. Forestry. a coniferous tree or its wood.
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or made of softwood.

Origin of softwood

First recorded in 1825–35; soft + wood1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for softwood

Historical Examples

  • Its range is more restricted than that of any other American softwood.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • The medullary rays are numerous, and for a softwood they are prominent.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • Some which are classed as hardwoods are softer than some in the softwood list.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • Longleaf pine is as widely used as any softwood in this country.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson

  • Softwood or greenwood Cuttings are always rooted under cover; that is, in a greenhouse, coldframe or dwelling house.


British Dictionary definitions for softwood

softwood

noun
  1. the open-grained wood of any of numerous coniferous trees, such as pine and cedar, as distinguished from that of a dicotyledonous tree
  2. any tree yielding this wood
Compare hardwood
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

softwood in Science

softwood

[sôftwud′]
  1. A coniferous tree, especially as distinguished from an angiosperm, or hardwood, tree.
  2. The wood of a coniferous tree. Softwoods are in general softer than hardwoods. However, some softwoods, such as yew, are comparatively hard, while some hardwoods, such as basswood, are comparatively soft.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.