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1. Made or consisting of wood.
2. Stiff and unnatural; without spirit: a wooden performance; a wooden smile.
3. Clumsy and awkward; ungainly.

wood′en·ly adv.
wood′en·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.woodenness - the quality of being wooden and awkward; "he criticized the woodenness of the acting"; "there was a certain woodenness in his replies"
gracelessness, clumsiness, awkwardness, stiffness - the inelegance of someone stiff and unrelaxed (as by embarrassment)
References in classic literature ?
She looked at him with a sort of queenly woodenness, as if he were behind a camera with a velvet bag over his head and had just told her to moisten the lips with the tip of the tongue.
Casaubon, might have remained longer unfelt by Dorothea if she had been encouraged to pour forth her girlish and womanly feeling--if he would have held her hands between his and listened with the delight of tenderness and understanding to all the little histories which made up her experience, and would have given her the same sort of intimacy in return, so that the past life of each could be included in their mutual knowledge and affection--or if she could have fed her affection with those childlike caresses which are the bent of every sweet woman, who has begun by showering kisses on the hard pate of her bald doll, creating a happy soul within that woodenness from the wealth of her own love.
Who knows what beautiful and winged life, whose egg has been buried for ages under many concentric layers of woodenness in the dead dry life of society, deposited at first in the alburnum of the green and living tree, which has been gradually converted into the semblance of its well-seasoned tomb -- heard perchance gnawing out now for years by the astonished family of man, as they sat round the festive board -- may unexpectedly come forth from amidst society's most trivial and handselled furniture, to enjoy its perfect summer life at last!
His woodenness was, however, confined to stage rehearsals.
18) I raised this problem of standards of proof for interpretation in the very first article that I ever wrote, see Gary Lawson, In Praise of Woodenness, 11 GEO.
Compare REDISH, supra note 35, Gary Lawson, In Praise of Woodenness, 11 GEO.
Indeed, part of the woodenness of contemporary debates about 'political theology'--which Kahn rightly wants to criticize--is also attributable, at least in part, to an insufficient reckoning with the various 'secularization theses' that have circulated over the past several centuries.
Isabelle's impressive lead performance exposes the woodenness of the supporting cast but the script is solid throughout and the tone remains deliciously dark and demented.
Kidman is in teeth-gnashingly terrible form here with endless close-ups only serving to highlight her woodenness.
The film tries to use his woodenness as an actor, even making reference to it -- "Try it again, a little less wooden," says his lawyer while he's being prepped -- but he's in almost every scene, and it starts to get tedious; Gone Girl cries out for the quicksilver charisma Jesse Eisenberg brought to Mark Zuckerberg in Fincher's The Social Network.
Radcliffe allows some of the woodenness of his Hogwarts years to creep into his portrayal of a medical school dropout, who stumbles upon love when he least expects it.
It is remarkable how many things that Gross writes about puppets echo, with varying resonances, Grotowski's views: the idea that actors are like puppets, allowing themselves (or others) to animate their bodies with passions and gestures not their own; the observation that the puppeteer's hands, like the hands of "a sculptor, musician, juggler, surgeon, and lover" (56), align the puppet theater not with woodenness but corporeality; the proposal that the puppet theater is "the closest thing we have in the ordinary human world to the transmigration of the soul from one body to another"(7); the reminder that in many places outside Europe, the puppeteer functions as "a kind of shaman or priest, responsible not only for his own heart but for the heart of the community"(132).