(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.

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 backwoods

Contemporary Examples of backwoods

Historical Examples of backwoods

  • While this free outdoor life develops strong and vigorous bodies, there is not much schooling in these backwoods settlements.

  • He had recognized that it was more effective to appear the backwoods lawyer than the well-groomed attorney.

    The Code of the Mountains

    Charles Neville Buck

  • "Just exactly my way of looking at it, Major," answered Life, to whom the backwoods manner of talking was now a thing of the past.

    An Undivided Union

    Oliver Optic

  • One described it as an “ungainly craft looking precisely like a backwoods sawmill mounted on a scow and set on fire.”

    Historic Inventions

    Rupert S. Holland

  • Furthermore, the frontier journalists often noted the fine hospitality and congeniality of their backwoods hosts.

British Dictionary definitions for backwoods


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