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Fri., Aug. 10, 2012, 1:40 a.m.

A Word A Day — weald

August 09, 2012

Word of the Day

  • weald
  • audio pronunciation
  • \WEELD\


: a heavily wooded area : forest
: a wild or uncultivated usually upland region

"Challenger's house was on the very edge of the hill, and from its southern face, in which was the study window, one looked across the vast stretch of the weald to where the gentle curves of the South Downs formed an undulating horizon." — From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1913 novella The Poison Belt

"Graham [Findlay] is a watercolour artist painting mainly landscapes around his home in the Weald of Kent." — From an announcement in the Kentish Express, June 28, 2012


If "weald" were a tree, it would have many annual rings. It has been in use as a general word for "forest" since the days of Old English, and it has also long been used, in its capitalized form, as a geographic name for a once-heavily forested region of southeast England. "Weald" is also often capitalized today when used to refer to wooded areas like the Weald of Kent and the Weald of Sussex in England. In time, the word branched out to designate any wild and uncultivated upland regions. A related word is "wold," meaning "an upland plain or stretch of rolling land."

From Merriam-Webster Online at

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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.