deadwood

deadwood

[ded-wood]
noun
1.
the dead branches on a tree; dead branches or trees.
2.
useless or burdensome persons or things: He cut the deadwood from his staff.
3.
(in writing) unnecessary words, phrases, or exposition; expendable verbiage.
4.
Nautical. a solid construction, serving only as reinforcement, located between the keel of a vessel and the stem or sternpost.
5.
Bowling. pins remaining on the alley after having been knocked down by the ball.
6.
Cards.
a.
Rummy. cards in a hand that have not been included in sets and are usually counted as points against the holder.
b.
Poker. cards that have been discarded.

Origin:
1720–30; dead + wood1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
deadwood (ˈdɛdˌwʊd)
 
n
1.  dead trees or branches
2.  informal a useless person; encumbrance
3.  nautical a filler piece between the keel and the stern of a wooden vessel

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

deadwood
1887 in fig. sense of "useless person or thing," orig. Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

deadwood definition


  1. n.
    nonproductive or nonfunctional persons. : We'll have to cut costs by getting rid of the deadwood.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

deadwood

city, seat (1877) of Lawrence county, western South Dakota, U.S. Located just northeast of Lead and about 40 miles (65 km) northwest of Rapid City, Deadwood lies in a canyon formed by Whitewood Creek in the northern Black Hills, more than 4,530 feet (1,380 metres) above sea level. Built at the base of the steep wooded inclines of Deadwood Gulch and extending up the hillsides, it was named for the dead trees found in the canyon.

Learn more about Deadwood with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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