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Wood, Anthony

Wood or à Wood, Anthony, 1632–95, English antiquary. His painstaking researches into the history of Oxford resulted in two great works, The History and Antiquities of the University of Oxford (in Latin, 1674; in English, tr. by him but not published until 1792–96), and Athenae Oxoniensis (1691–92; rev. and enl. ed. 1721) containing biographies of noted Oxford graduates. The second work included statements about the 1st earl of Clarendon that were adjudged libelous and for which he was expelled from Oxford. Wood's own Life and Times (comp. from his papers by Andrew Clark, 5 vol., 1891–1900) was abridged by Llewelyn Powys (1932).


wood, botanically, the xylem tissue that forms the bulk of the stem of a woody plant. Xylem conducts sap upward from the roots to the leaves, stores food in the form of complex carbohydrates, and provides support; it is made up of various types of cells specialized for each of these purposes. Among them are tracheids, elongated conduction and support cells; parenchyma (food storage) cells, some of which form rays for transverse conduction; xylem vessels, formed of hollow cells joined end to end; and fiber cells that reinforce these tubes. In the conifers the xylem is made up mainly of tracheids, thus presenting a uniform, nonporous appearance; their wood is called softwood. Deciduous trees have more complex xylem, permeated by vessels, and are called hardwoods, although the description is sometimes inaccurate.

The xylem is formed in the growing season by the cambium; in temperate regions the cells formed in the spring are larger in diameter than those formed in the summer, and this results in the annual rings observable in cross section. The new cells lose their protoplasm as they form the various tissues; the older, nonfunctional cells become plugged up, darken in color, and often accumulate bitter or poisonous substances (tannins, dyes, resins, and gums). This inner wood (the heartwood, as opposed to the functional sapwood) is valued for outdoor construction because of its resistance to moisture and to decay-producing organisms.

Commercial Uses

Freshly cut wood contains much moisture and tends to warp and split as it dries. Lumber is therefore seasoned before use—dried either slowly in the sun and air or more quickly by artificial means (kiln drying). Seasoning increases wood's buoyancy, strength, elasticity, and durability. Although synthetic materials have supplanted wood in many of its former uses, it is still widely employed for furniture, floors, railway ties, paper manufacture, and innumerable other purposes. Wood distillation yields methyl alcohol, wood tar, acetic acid, acetone, and turpentine; charcoal is made by burning or heating wood in insufficient air to consume it.

The wood of different species of trees varies considerably in weight, strength, and appearance. Softwood is normally uniform in grain (texture) and color; hardwood, in which the rays are more prominent and the arrangement of tissues is variable, produces lumber in which the grain may run vertically or horizontally and be coarse or smooth. The manner in which a log is cut results in lumber with thin or wide ray markings. A log cut horizontally shows the concentric annual rings; lengthwise cuts through the center are marked by thin vertical ray lines; and lengthwise cuts through the outer sections show the wood's characteristic wavy grain and wider ray markings, prized for their beauty. The rarer decorative woods may be cut in thin layers and glued to other wood structures (see veneer). Plywood, made of thin layers of wood glued so that the grains alternate in direction, makes an especially strong construction material. For some applications composition board offers another inexpensive substitute. The more recently developed cross-laminated timber is used to prefabricate entire walls or large sections of ceiling and floor. Pressure-treated wood is lumber that has had a preservative forced into it under pressure.


See H. Cone, Wood Structure and Identification (1979); H. Bucksh, Dictionary of Wood and Woodworking Practice (2 vol., 1986).

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Timber from all trees except the conifers, which are called softwood. See also: Douglas fir
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


Dense, close-grained wood of an angiospermous tree, such as oak, walnut, cherry, and maple.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. A tree belonging to the angiosperms; usually broad-leaved and deciduous, such as cherry, mahogany, maple, oak, etc.
2. Wood cut from such trees.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the wood of any of numerous broad-leaved dicotyledonous trees, such as oak, beech, ash, etc., as distinguished from the wood of a conifer
2. any tree from which this wood is obtained
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The excellent services delivered by Hardwood Design Centre have not gone unnoticed, attracting the attention of clients across Toronto and Canada as a whole.
Charlie Bevan-Jones, managing director of Border Hardwood, with Jamie Doran, director of Forest Oak Products
Upstream, by 1905 "Memphis was the undisputed hardwood manufacturing center in the United States," allowing the city to dub itself the "Hardwood Capital of the World," a moniker that survived into the middle of the 20th century, according to Davis.
The UAE was the region"s strongest performer last year, with exports of US hardwood lumber to the market rising by 86 per cent in both volume and value to 24,597 cu m and $21.05 million, as compared to the previous year.
Nonetheless, a very buoyant construction sector in the UAE ahead of Dubai's World Expo 2020, is expected to keep demand for American hardwoods at a high level through this year and beyond.
In the past, estimates for hardwood lumber production at the state level for specific years have been developed from the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service (USDA FS) timber product output (TPO) reports using saw log consumption (mill receipts) information (Luppold and Dempsey 1994).
Quality Hardwood was founded in 2001 and has enjoyed steady success throughout its history.
"We concluded that the claims "solid hardwood", "100% solid hardwood" and "no veneer" were misleading."
"Somerset Hardwood Flooring has always been known for its ability to add warmth and beauty to American homes," he said.
Top tip: Ask Timber Products about what you want in your hardwood veneer and be sure that everyone is on the same page before you order.
"The Mena region as a whole is demonstrating strong demand for American hardwoods. With the value of completed construction projects set to reach $81.6 billion in 2013, which represents a 19 percent increase over 2012, the outlook for the second half of the year looks positive.