woodsman (n.) Look up woodsman at Dictionary.com
1680s, from woods (see wood (n.)) + man (n.). Earlier was woodman (early 15c.).
woodsy (adj.) Look up woodsy at Dictionary.com
1848, American English, from woods (see wood (n.)) + -y (2).
woodwind (n.) Look up woodwind at Dictionary.com
1876, from wood (n.) + wind (n.1) in the musical instrument sense. Related: Woodwinds.
woodwork (n.) Look up woodwork at Dictionary.com
"article made of wood," 1640s, from wood (n.) + work (n.). Especially applied to wooden details of a house, hence figurative use of to come (or crawl) out of the woodwork, by 1960, suggestive of cockroaches, etc.
woody (adj.) Look up woody at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "overgrown with trees and shrubs," from wood (n.) + -y (2). Of plants, "having a stem of wood," from 1570s. Related: Woodiness. Old English had wudulic. As a name for a kind of station wagon with wood panels, by 1961, U.S. surfer slang (real wood exterior panels were rare after 1951 and the last use of real wood was in the 1953 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon). Slang meaning "erection" attested by 1990 (for hardness).
woof (n.1) Look up woof at Dictionary.com
"weft, texture, fabric," Old English owef, from o- "on" + wefan "to weave" (see weave). With excrescent -w- by influence of warp or weft.
woof (n.2) Look up woof at Dictionary.com
dog bark noise, first recorded 1804, echoic.
woofer (n.) Look up woofer at Dictionary.com
"loudspeaker for bass notes," 1935, imitative.
wool (n.) Look up wool at Dictionary.com
Old English wull "wool, fine soft hair which forms the coat of some animals," from Proto-Germanic *wulno (cognates: Old Norse ull, Old Frisian wolle, Middle Dutch wolle, Dutch wol, Old High German wolla, German wolle, Gothic wulla), from PIE *wele- (1) "wool" (cognates: Sanskrit urna; Avestan varena; Greek lenos "wool;" Latin lana "wool," vellus "fleece;" Old Church Slavonic vluna, Russian vulna, Lithuanian vilna "wool;" Middle Irish olann, Welsh gwlan "wool").

Figurative expression pull the wool over (someone's) eyes is recorded from 1838, American English. To be literally dyed in the wool (1725, as opposed to dyed in the piece) is to be so before spinning, while the material is in its raw state, which has a more durable effect; hence the figurative sense "from the beginning; most thoroughly," attested from 1809, and especially, in U.S. politics, from 1830.
wool-gathering (n.) Look up wool-gathering at Dictionary.com
also woolgathering, 1550s, "indulging in wandering fancies and purposeless thinking," from the literal meaning "gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.," an activity that necessitates much wandering to little purpose. See wool + gather.
woolen (adj.) Look up woolen at Dictionary.com
also woollen (chiefly British English), Old English wullen, wyllen "made of wool," from wool + -en (2). Related: Woolens; woollens.
Woolworth Look up Woolworth at Dictionary.com
also Woolworth's, often in reference to inexpensive merchandise, from the F.W. Woolworth & Company chain of "five-and-ten-cent stores," begun 1879 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
wooly (adj.) Look up wooly at Dictionary.com
also woolly, 1570s, "resembling or made of wool," from wool + -y (2). Meaning "barbarous, rude" is recorded 1891, from wild and wooly (1884) applied to the U.S. western frontier, perhaps in reference to range steers or to unkempt cowboys. Related: Wooliness.
woozy (adj.) Look up woozy at Dictionary.com
"muddled or dazed, as with drink," 1897, American English colloquial, variant of oozy "muddy," or an alteration of boozy. It is recorded in 1896 as student slang, but with a sense "foolish, behind the times," also "pleasant, delightful."
wop (n.) Look up wop at Dictionary.com
derogatory for "Italian," 1912, American English slang, apparently from southern Italian dialect guappo "dandy, dude, stud," a greeting among male Neapolitans, said to be from Spanish guapo "bold, dandy," which is from Latin vappa "sour wine," also "worthless fellow;" related to vapidus (see vapid). It is probably not an acronym, and the usual story that it is one seems to date only to c.1985.
Worcester Look up Worcester at Dictionary.com
Wireceastre (1086), Old English Wigranceastre (717), Weogorna civitas (691), from Weogora, a tribal name. Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrin's) is attested from 1843.
word (n.) Look up word at Dictionary.com
Old English word "speech, talk, utterance, sentence, statement, news, report, word," from Proto-Germanic *wurdan (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian word, Dutch woord, Old High German, German wort, Old Norse orð, Gothic waurd), from PIE *were- (3) "speak, say" (see verb).

The meaning "promise" was in Old English, as was the theological sense. In the plural, the meaning "verbal altercation" (as in to have words with someone) dates from mid-15c. Word processor first recorded 1971; word processing is from 1972; word wrap is from 1977. A word to the wise is from Latin phrase verbum sapienti satis est "a word to the wise is enough." Word-for-word is late 14c. Word of mouth is recorded from 1550s.
It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, the corn become a black smut, and all libraries, of necessity, be burned to the ground as a consequence. [William Carlos Williams, "Paterson"]
word (v.) Look up word at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "to utter;" 1610s, "put into words," from word (n.). Related: Worded; wording.
wordcraft (n.) Look up wordcraft at Dictionary.com
Old English wordcræft "poetic art, eloquence;" see word (n.) + craft (n.).
wording (n.) Look up wording at Dictionary.com
"choice of words, manner in which something is expressed," apparently coined by Milton in "Eikonoklastes" (1649). From present participle of word (v.).
wordless (adj.) Look up wordless at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from word (n.) + -less. Related: Wordlessly.
wordplay (n.) Look up wordplay at Dictionary.com
also word-play, 1855; see word (n.) + play (v).
wordsmith (n.) Look up wordsmith at Dictionary.com
1896, from word (n.) + smith (n.). There is a "Mrs. F. Wordsmith" in the Detroit City Directory for 1855-56, but perhaps this is a typo.
wordy (adj.) Look up wordy at Dictionary.com
Old English wordig "verbose;" see word (n.) + -y (2).
wore Look up wore at Dictionary.com
modern past tense of wear (v.).
work (n.) Look up work at Dictionary.com
Old English weorc, worc "something done, discreet act performed by someone, action (whether voluntary or required), proceeding, business; that which is made or manufactured, products of labor," also "physical labor, toil; skilled trade, craft, or occupation; opportunity of expending labor in some useful or remunerative way;" also "military fortification," from Proto-Germanic *werkan (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch werk, Old Norse verk, Middle Dutch warc, Old High German werah, German Werk, Gothic gawaurki), from PIE *werg-o-, from root *werg- "to do" (see organ).
Work is less boring than amusing oneself. [Baudelaire, "Mon Coeur mis a nu," 1862]
In Old English, the noun also had the sense of "fornication." Meaning "physical effort, exertion" is from c.1200; meaning "scholarly labor" or its productions is from c.1200; meaning "artistic labor" or its productions is from c.1200. Meaning "labor as a measurable commodity" is from c.1300. Meaning "embroidery, stitchery, needlepoint" is from late 14c. Work of art attested by 1774 as "artistic creation," earlier (1728) "artifice, production of humans (as opposed to nature)." Work ethic recorded from 1959. To be out of work "unemployed" is from 1590s. To make clean work of is from c.1300; to make short work of is from 1640s. Proverbial expression many hands make light work is from c.1300. To have (one's) work cut out for one is from 1610s; to have it prepared and prescribed, hence, to have all one can handle. Work in progress is from 1930 in a general sense, earlier as a specific term in accountancy and parliamentary procedure.
work (v.) Look up work at Dictionary.com
a fusion of Old English wyrcan (past tense worhte, past participle geworht) "prepare, perform, do, make, construct, produce; strive after" (from Proto-Germanic *wurkijan); and Old English wircan (Mercian) "to operate, function, set in motion," a secondary verb formed relatively late from Proto-Germanic noun *werkan (see work (n.)). Sense of "perform physical labor" was in Old English, as was sense "ply one's trade" and "exert creative power, be a creator." Transitive sense "manipulate (physical substances) into a desired state or form" was in Old English. Meaning "have the expected or desired effect" is from late 14c. In Middle English also "perform sexually" (mid-13c.). Related: Worked (15c.); working. To work up "excite" is from c.1600. To work over "beat up, thrash" is from 1927. To work against "attempt to subvert" is from late 14c.
workable (adj.) Look up workable at Dictionary.com
1540s, from work (v.) + -able. Related: Workably; workability.
workaday Look up workaday at Dictionary.com
c.1200, werkedei (n.), "day designated for labor rather than religious observance or rest," from Old Norse virkr dagr "working day;" see work (n.) + day. It passed into an adjective 16c.
workaholic (n.) Look up workaholic at Dictionary.com
1968, coined from work (n.) with second element abstracted absurdly from alcoholic. This sets up the old Rodney Dangerfield joke: "My old man was a workaholic: every time he thought about work, he got drunk."
workaround (n.) Look up workaround at Dictionary.com
also work-around, by 1987, from the verbal phrase, from work (v.) + around (adv.).
workbook (n.) Look up workbook at Dictionary.com
1910, from work (n.) + book (n.).
workday (n.) Look up workday at Dictionary.com
Old English weorcdæg, from work (n.) + day (n.). The modern word is perhaps a Middle English re-formation. As an adjective (c.1500) it has generally only the literal sense (compare workaday).
worker (n.) Look up worker at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "laborer, toiler, performer, doer," agent noun from work (v.). As a type of bee, 1747. As "one employed for a wage," 1848. Old English had wyrcend "worker, laborer."
workflow (n.) Look up workflow at Dictionary.com
1949, from work (n.) + flow (n.).
workforce (n.) Look up workforce at Dictionary.com
1947, from work (n.) + force (n.).
workhorse (n.) Look up workhorse at Dictionary.com
1540s, from work (n.) + horse (n.). Figurative use by 1949.
workhouse (n.) Look up workhouse at Dictionary.com
Old English weorchus "workshop;" see work (n.) + house (n.). From 1650s in the sense of "place where the able-bodied poor or petty criminals are lodged and compelled to work."
working (adj.) Look up working at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "active, busy," past participle adjective from work (v.). From 1630s as "engaged in physical toil or manual labor as a means of livelihood." Working class is from 1789 as a noun, 1839 as an adjective. Working-day is from late 15c.; working man is by 1816.
working (n.) Look up working at Dictionary.com
"action, operation," verbal noun from work (v.).
workload (n.) Look up workload at Dictionary.com
1939, from work (n.) + load (n.).
workman (n.) Look up workman at Dictionary.com
Old English weorcmsnn; see work (n.) + man (n.). Similar formation in Dutch werkman, Old Norse verkmaðr.
workmanlike (adj.) Look up workmanlike at Dictionary.com
"efficient, no-nonsense," 1739, from workman + like (adj.).
workmanship (n.) Look up workmanship at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "performance of labor," from workman + -ship. Meaning "skill as a workman" is from 1520s.
workout (n.) Look up workout at Dictionary.com
1909, "boxing bout for training," from work (v.) + out (adv.). General sense of "spell of strenuous physical exercise" is attested by 1922. Verbal phrase work out "solve" (a problem, etc.) is from 1848. Sense of "succeed" attested by 1909.
workplace (n.) Look up workplace at Dictionary.com
1828, a hybrid from work (n.) + place (n.).
works (n.) Look up works at Dictionary.com
Old English, "(someone's) deeds, acts, or actions, the things one has done in life," often especially "good deeds, acts of piety, demonstrations of virtue," plural of work (n.). Meaning "operations pertinent to maintaining a large physical place" (private, religious, or municipal) is from late 14c. Meaning "industrial place" (usually with qualifying adjective) is from late 15c. To be in the works in the extended sense of "in the process of being done or made" is by 1973.
worksheet (n.) Look up worksheet at Dictionary.com
1909, from work (n.) + sheet (n.).
workshop (n.) Look up workshop at Dictionary.com
1580s, from work (n.) + shop (n.). Meaning "gathering for study, etc.," is from 1937.
workstation (n.) Look up workstation at Dictionary.com
also work-station, 1950, from work (n.) + station (n.). Computer sense is from 1972.