[hahrd-woo d]
See more synonyms for hardwood on Thesaurus.com
  1. made or constructed of hardwood: a hardwood floor.

Origin of hardwood

First recorded in 1560–70; hard + wood1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for hardwood


  1. the wood of any of numerous broad-leaved dicotyledonous trees, such as oak, beech, ash, etc, as distinguished from the wood of a conifer
  2. any tree from which this wood is obtained
Compare softwood
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 hardwood

1560s, from hard + wood. From deciduous trees, distinguished from that of pines and firs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hardwood in Science


  1. A eudicot or magnoliid tree, especially as distinguished from a coniferous, or softwood, tree.
  2. The wood of a eudicot or magnoliid tree. Hardwoods are in general harder than softwood. However, some hardwoods, such as basswood, are comparatively soft, while some softwoods, such as yew, are comparatively hard.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.