Nearby words

  1. wontedly,
  2. wonton,
  3. woo,
  4. woo-hoo,
  5. woo-woo,
  6. wood alcohol,
  7. wood anemone,
  8. wood ant,
  9. wood avens,
  10. wood betony


Origin of wood

before 900; Middle English; Old English wudu, earlier widu; cognate with Old Norse vithr, Old High German witu, Old Irish fid

7. See forest.

Related formswood·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for touch wood


/ (wʊd) /


Mrs Henry, married name of Ellen Price . 1814–87, British novelist, noted esp for the melodramatic novel East Lynne (1861)
Sir Henry (Joseph). 1869–1944, English conductor, who founded the Promenade Concerts in London
John, known as the Elder . 1707–54, British architect and town planner, working mainly in Bath, where he designed the North and South Parades (1728) and the Circus (1754)
his son, John, known as the Younger . 1727–82, British architect: designed the Royal Crescent (1767–71) and the Assembly Rooms (1769–71), Bath
Ralph. 1715–72, British potter, working in Staffordshire, who made the first toby jug (1762)


/ (wʊd) /



(tr) to plant a wood upon
to supply or be supplied with fuel or firewood
See also woods

Derived Formswoodless, adjective

Word Origin for wood

Old English widu, wudu; related to Old High German witu, Old Norse vithr


/ (wʊd) /


obsolete raging or raving like a maniac

Word Origin for wood

Old English wōd; related to Old High German wuot (German Wut), Old Norse ōthr, Gothic wōths, Latin vātēs seer

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 touch wood
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for touch wood


[ wud ]

The thick xylem of trees and shrubs, resulting from secondary growth by the vascular cambium, which produces new layers of living xylem. The accumulated living xylem is the sapwood. The older, dead xylem in the interior of the tree forms the heartwood. Often each cycle of growth of new wood is evident as a growth ring. The main components of wood are cellulose and lignin.
Related formswoody adjective

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.