[ bak-woodz ]
/ ˈbækˈwʊdz /


(often used with a singular verb) wooded or partially uncleared and unsettled districts.
any remote or isolated area.

adjective Also back·wood, back·woods·y.

of or relating to the backwoods.
unsophisticated; uncouth.

Nearby words

  1. backwash,
  2. backwater,
  3. backwater valve,
  4. backwind,
  5. backwood,
  6. backwoodsman,
  7. backword,
  8. backwrap,
  9. backyard,
  10. baclava

Origin of backwoods

An Americanism dating back to 1700–10; back1 + wood1(def 7)

SYNONYMS FOR backwoods
2. hinterland, provinces, wilds, woodland; sticks, boondocks, boonies, bush, backwater. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for backwood

British Dictionary definitions for backwood


/ (ˈbækwʊdz) /

pl n

mainly US and Canadian partially cleared, sparsely populated forests
any remote sparsely populated place
(modifier) of, from, or like the backwoods
(modifier) uncouth; rustic
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

Word Origin and History for backwood



1709, American English, from back (adj.) + wood (n.) "forested tract." Also backwoods. As an adjective, from 1784.

BACKWOODSMEN ... This word is commonly used as a term of reproach (and that, only in a familiar style,) to designate those people, who, being at a distance from the sea and entirely agricultural, are considered as either hostile or indifferent to the interests of the commercial states. [John Pickering, "A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words and Phrases Which Have Been Supposed to be Peculiar to the United States of America," Boston, 1816]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper