Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Consisting of or having the texture or appearance of wood; woody.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of, or resembling wood; woody.
  • adj. Containing lignin or xylem.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Made of wood; consisting of wood; of the nature of, or resembling, wood; woody.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Consisting of or resembling wood; wooden; woody; in botany, having a wood-like texture; woody, as distinguished from herbaceous. Also lignose.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. consisting of or containing lignin or xylem

Etymologies

From Latin ligneus, from lignum, wood; see leg- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
lign-e-ous (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And in the land and beneath it put he crude oil, grades one through six; and natural gas put he thereunder, and prehistoric carboniferous forests yielding anthracite and other ligneous matter; and all these called he Resources; and he made them Abundant.

    Tony Hendra: Not The Bible -- The Ultimate and Eternal Parody

  • These trees produce ligneous roots which, when cooked, are excellent; from them, by fermentation, a very agreeable liquor is made.

    The Mysterious Island

  • The manufacture of a hand-saw cost infinite trouble, but at last an instrument was obtained which, when vigorously handled, could divide the ligneous fibers of the wood.

    The Mysterious Island

  • The Greeks left a soldier behind, pretending he was now a non-combatant, to convince the Trojans that if they didn't carry the ligneous steed back into fortified Troy, the Trojans themselves would risk the wrath of the goddess Athena.

    "Naming names and telling it like it is."

  • Each of the laminae can be seen to be composed of two, three, or four layers of ligneous tubes; but supposing each ring the growth of one year, and the semidiameter of a mowana of one hundred feet in circumference about seventeen feet, if the central point were in the centre of the tree, then its age would lack some centuries of being as old as the

    Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa

  • Much impressed by this family circumstance, and also by the friendly disposition of Mr Wegg, as exemplified in his so soon dropping into poetry, Mr Boffin again shook hands with that ligneous sharper, and besought him to name his hour.

    Our Mutual Friend

  • When, however, an animal is of large size, and feeds on substances of so thorny and ligneous a character as to be difficult of concoction, it may in consequence have several stomachs, as for instance is the case with the camel.

    On the Parts of Animals

  • Bare rock is found only in the river valleys, where the streams have cut their way down to the lime and sandstone, and in ligneous outcroppings, where flint, quartz and quartzite frequently found.

    A Case Of Conscience

  • The general aspect of the various species which compose this genus of labiate plants, although presenting very characteristic differences, merges gradually from one species to another; all are, in their native habitat, small ligneous undershrubs of from one to two feet in height, with a thin bark, which detaches itself in scales; the leaves are linear, persistent, and covered with numerous hairs, which give the plant a hoary appearance.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891

  • The stems and branches of lavender being ligneous and strong are able to resist the force of the wind, and the plant thrives best in a perfectly open locality, where the air circulates freely; the oil and resin which it contains in abundance enable it to resist the parching action of the wind and sun.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 799, April 25, 1891

Comments

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  • "Phaedre's beautiful face might have been carved of fruitwood; normally a delicate cinnamon, her complexion had faded to a pale, ligneous brown, and her eyes stared fixedly through the open door of the pantry at the blank wall beyond."
    —Diana Gabaldon, The Fiery Cross (NY: Bantam Dell, 2001), 740

    January 26, 2010