Definitions

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

  • n. An annual Old World plant (Isatis tinctoria) in the mustard family, formerly cultivated for its leaves that yield a blue dye.
  • n. The dye obtained from this plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Common name of the plant Isatis tinctoria whose leaves are used to make a blue dye.
  • n. The dye made from the plant Isatis tinctoria.
  • v. to plant or cultivate woad
  • v. to dye with woad

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An herbaceous cruciferous plant (Isatis tinctoria) of the family Cruciferae (syn. Brassicaceae). It was formerly cultivated for the blue coloring matter derived from its leaves. See isatin.
  • n. A blue dyestuff, or coloring matter, consisting of the powdered and fermented leaves of the Isatis tinctoria. It is now superseded by indigo, but is somewhat used with indigo as a ferment in dyeing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A cruciferous plant, Isatistinctoria, formerly much cultivated in Great. Britain on account of the blue dye extracted from its pulped and fermented leaves.

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

  • n. any of several herbs of the genus Isatis
  • n. a blue dyestuff obtained from the woad plant

Etymologies

Middle English wode, from Old English wād.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English wode, from Old English wād ("woad"), from Proto-Germanic *waidan, *waidaz (“woad”), from Proto-Indo-European *wAit- (“woad”). Cognate with Old Frisian wēd ("woad"), Dutch weed ("woad"), German Waid ("woad"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Your epic fantasy novel, The Dragons of Duncan's Ass Tattoo, can portray My Ass Tattoo's blue-skinned denizens, their miniature zeppelins, and their sphincter-worshipping rituals either accurately or inaccurately, with or without prejudice, but you ain't going to be appropriating their culture until you start covering yourseves in woad, living in airships and pouring libations to The One True Hole.

    Cultural Appropriation

  • With these goes the Wadman, who dealt in, or grew, the dye-plant called woad; cf. Flaxman.

    The Romance of Names

  • He need not indulge in what is called the woad argument; we sha'n't go back to the early

    Promenades of an Impressionist

  • Some few, however, are important, such as woad, weld, heather, walnut, alder, oak, some lichens; and many of the less important ones would produce valuable colours if experiments were made with the right mordants.

    Vegetable Dyes Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer

  • These may be divided into two groups: (1) Fermentation vats, in which the action of reducing agents is brought about through the influences of the fermentation of organic bodies, such as woad, bran, treacle, etc; (2) Chemical vats in which the reducing effect is brought about by the reaction of various agents on one another.

    The Dyeing of Woollen Fabrics

  • The 64-year-old's winning word was "woad," a plant whose leaves yield a blue dye.

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  • Blue: Handful of woad or 2 cups chopped red cabbage*

    Robyn Griggs Lawrence: Dye Easter Eggs Naturally With Onions, Beets and Blueberries

  • Doesn't it say a lot about how philistine a country is, about how much blue bloody woad it still paints itself with, that our moral paragons, our moral conscience are represented in the media by cooks and comedians.

    From porn to Portillo | Mark Lawson

  • But today I did hear an item about a farm down south where they produce woad, and have perfected a system of their own for extracting a powder which they sell.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • (The spell-checker which continues to complain about “woad” has no trouble with “dithionite”.)

    Archive 2009-01-01

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Comments

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  • Mad, Furious; from saxon wod: insane.

    May 17, 2008