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dogwood

[dawg-woo d, dog-] /ˈdɔgˌwʊd, ˈdɒg-/
noun
1.
any tree or shrub of the genus Cornus, especially C. sanguinea, of Europe, or C. florida, of America.
2.
the wood of any such tree.
3.
a light to medium brown or a medium yellowish-brown color.
adjective
4.
having the color dogwood.
Origin
1610-1620
1610-20; dog + wood1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for dog wood

dogwood

/ˈdɒɡˌwʊd/
noun
1.
any of various cornaceous trees or shrubs of the genus Cornus, esp C. sanguinea, a European shrub with clusters of small white flowers and black berries: the shoots are red in winter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for dog wood

dogwood

n.

shrubs and small trees of the genus Cornus, 1610s, earlier dog-tree (1540s); the first element sometimes said to have been perhaps dag -- cf. dagger, dag (v.) "to pierce or stab" (1630s, perhaps 15c.) -- the trees have hard, white wood that was used in making skewers; another name for it was skewer-wood. But another guess is that the tree was given the name in reference to its fruit, which was called dogberry from 1550s, and dog had implications of "cheap, inferior" (i.e. "fit for a dog").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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