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[woo d-ruh f, -ruhf] /ˈwʊd rəf, -ˌrʌf/
any of several plants belonging to the genus Asperula or Galium, of the madder family, as G. odoratum (sweet woodruff) a fragrant plant with small white flowers.
Origin of woodruff
before 1000; Middle English woderove, Old English wudurofe, wudurife, equivalent to wudu wood1 + -rofe, -rife, element of uncertain meaning; compare German Rübe carrot


[woo d-ruh f] /ˈwʊd rəf/
Hiram, 1817–67, Canadian driver, trainer, and breeder of harness-racing horses. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for woodruff
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The woodruff sleigh came to the door to carry them home; but Jim desired to breast the storm.

    The Brown Mouse Herbert Quick
  • The boys were in a glow of pride at this cooperation with Colonel woodruff.

    The Brown Mouse Herbert Quick
  • As you are aware, after the burial of the remains of President woodruff, he proceeded at once to do this.

    Gospel Doctrine Joseph F. Smith
  • Early in September woodruff came to me, at Fredonia, his manner jubilant.

    The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips
  • woodruff said: I fear those old farmers who were Haywards neighbors.

  • And it is not necessary for me to say where woodruff got the orders he transmitted to Thurston.

    The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips
  • Elders Taylor and woodruff were the first of their quorum to start on their mission.

    The Life of John Taylor B. H. Roberts
  • I gave them their instructions; woodruff equipped them with the necessary cash.

    The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips
  • For several days Elder woodruff traveled and preached in various neighborhoods of that vicinity.

    Wilford Woodruff Matthias F. Cowley
British Dictionary definitions for woodruff


any of several rubiaceous plants of the genus Galium, esp G. odoratum (sweet woodruff), of Eurasia, which has small sweet-scented white flowers and whorls of narrow fragrant leaves used to flavour wine and liqueurs and in perfumery
Word Origin
Old English wudurofe, from wood1 + rōfe, related to Old High German ruoba, Middle Low German rōve (beet)root, Latin rēpere to creep
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
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