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softwood

[sawft-woo d, soft-] /ˈsɔftˌwʊd, ˈsɒft-/
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
4.
of, relating to, or made of softwood.
Origin of softwood
1825-1835
First recorded in 1825-35; soft + wood1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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.

  • It is apparent, therefore, that the terms hardwood and softwood are commercial rather than scientific.

    American Forest Trees

    Henry H. Gibson
  • The northern trees are softwood dwarfs, needle-leaved, flowerless, and cone-bearing.

    The Red Man's Continent Ellsworth Huntington
  • The softwood cutting is made from tissue which is still growing, or at least from that which is not dormant.

  • Only the tip of the cutting is stuck into the sand; otherwise it is treated like other softwood cuttings.

  • There were plenty of splinters and ends of softwood that were mine by right of purchase and labour.

British Dictionary definitions for softwood

softwood

/ˈsɒftˌwʊd/
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
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softwood in Science
softwood
  (sôft'wd')   
  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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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15
15
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