from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An inhabitant of the backwoods.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A man living in the forest in or beyond the new settlements, especially on the western frontiers of the United States in former times.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who is acclimated to living in a forest area that is far removed from civilization or modern conveniences.
  • noun An uncivilized person.
  • noun informal A Peer who is seldom present in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom Parliament, who may be encouraged to attend when a very important vote is expected.

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

  • noun a man who lives on the frontier


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

backwoods +‎ man


  • He was always an Indian; even at his best he was a savage, just as the backwoodsman was a savage at his worst.

    Stories Of Ohio

  • Wilbur thought to himself that perhaps "backwoodsman" was not quite a fair idea of the great President's Illinois upbringing, but he thought it wiser not to argue the point to no profit.

    The Boy With the U. S. Foresters

  • He was sixty-five, pompous, large, and rubicund -- a "backwoodsman" of a pattern obsolescent.

    The Grey Room

  • It wasn't just the animal cruelty but her breaking of hunting protocol -- the whole thing stank of a PR exercise designed to portray what is a not very well educated surburban housewife as some kind of tough backwoodsman.

    Steve Bell on Sarah Palin's 'blood libel'

  • Yet it was a former backwoodsman from the U.S. who kept Knox's words alive, helping the poet become a literary one-hit wonder.

    With Death on His Mind

  • Newhart was the oasis of bemused stoicism, whether dealing with his patients and equally quirky friends as Bob Hartley on The Bob Newhart Show or the surreal guests and backwoodsman brothers as Dick Loudon on Newhart.

    Spencer Green: Bob Newhart: The Quiet Comedy Master

  • In her 2005 book on Lincoln, "Team of Rivals," historian Doris Kearns Goodwin concluded that one of Lincoln's best attributes was his ability to bring into his Cabinet foes that had dismissed him as an inexperienced backwoodsman.

    Prospects for an Obama 'team of rivals' uncertain

  • One could say of George Will what James Russell Lowell wrote of Emerson: "His eye for a fine, telling phrase that will carry true is like that of a backwoodsman for a rifle."

    RJ Eskow: On Health Reform, George F. Will Just Threw a Spitball

  • The investors made sure he was preceded by letters addressed to "Colonel Drake," the title added in order to enhance his reputation among the backwoodsman.

    The Pennsylvania Start-up That Changed The World

  • One boy, Greystoke, who had only ever stayed in luxury hotels before, took to camping with all the zeal of the new convert and never missed an opportunity to rediscover his inner backwoodsman at Beaulieu.



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  • Melville is a genius:

    "...not merely is the backwoodsman content to be alone, but in no few cases is anxious to be so. The sight of smoke ten miles off is provocation to one so remove from man, one step deeper into nature. Is it that he feels that whatever man may be, man is not the universe? that glory, beauty, kindness, are not all engrossed by him? that as the presence of man frights birds away, so, many bird-like thoughts?"

    - Melville, The Confidence Man

    September 8, 2012