[sawft-wood, soft-]
any wood that is relatively soft or easily cut.
a tree yielding such a wood.
Forestry. a coniferous tree or its wood.
of, pertaining to, or made of softwood.

1825–35; soft + wood1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
softwood (ˈsɒftˌwʊd)
1.  the open-grained wood of any of numerous coniferous trees, such as pine and cedar, as distinguished from that of a dicotyledonous tree
2.  any tree yielding this wood

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
softwood   (sôft'wd')  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A coniferous tree, especially as distinguished from an angiosperm, or hardwood, tree.

  2. The wood of a coniferous tree. Softwoods are in general softer than hardwoods. However, some softwoods, such as yew, are comparatively hard, while some hardwoods, such as basswood, are comparatively soft.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Over the squeak of sneakers on the softwood floor, a small group hangs out around a leather couch.
So, in general, smoke from softwood fires is lighter in color.
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