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bar +‎ wood, since it was imported from Africa in bars.


barwood (usually uncountable, plural barwoods)

  1. The red wood of a leguminous African tree, Baphia nitida, used as a dyewood and for ramrods, violin bows and turner's work.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for barwood in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)