deadwood









deadwood


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.
    1. Rummy.cards in a hand that have not been included in sets and are usually counted as points against the holder.
    2. Poker.cards that have been discarded.

noun

  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
n.

1887 in figurative sense of “useless person or thing,” originally American English, from dead (adj.) + wood (n.). Dead wood in a forest is useful as firewood; perhaps the reference here is to the dried up parts of plants grown for commercial production of flowers or fruit.

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