Definition 2021




Alternative forms

  • hard wood


hardwood (countable and uncountable, plural hardwoods)

  1. (countable, mostly in botany and forestry) The wood from any dicotyledonous tree, without regard to its hardness.
    Balsa is a hardwood, but a soft hardwood.
  2. (countable) (in more general use) As the preceding but limited to those that are commercial timbers, and are at least average in hardness.
    Ash, hickory and oak are some of the most prominent domestic hardwoods.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 10, in The Celebrity:
      Mr. Cooke had had a sloop yacht built at Far Harbor, the completion of which had been delayed, and which was but just delivered. […] The Maria had a cabin, which was finished in hard wood and yellow plush, and accommodations for keeping things cold.
  3. (countable, forestry) The tree or tree species that yields the preceding.
    This hardwood has been planted extensively throughout the hills here.
  4. (uncountable) A joint term for the commercial timbers, without distinguishing which.
    You should have used hardwood for this window sill instead of this junk.
  5. (sports, slang) The sport of basketball, in particular, an indoor basketball court; so named because the floor of an indoor basketball court is normally made of hardwood.



hardwood (not comparable)

  1. Of a floor: made of interlocking hardwood boards.

See also