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dogwood (n.)

shrubs and small trees of the genus Cornus, 1610s, earlier dog-tree (1540s); the first element sometimes said to have been perhaps dag — compare dagger and dag (v.) "to pierce or stab" (1630s, perhaps 15c.).

The trees have hard, white wood that was said to have been used in making butchers' skewers; another name for it was skewer-wood. This explanation is as old as the word itself in English, but the form *dagwood is not attested. Another guess is that the tree was given the name in reference to its fruit, which was called dogberry from 1550s, and dog (n.) had implications of "cheap, inferior" (i.e. "fit for a dog").

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Definitions of dogwood from WordNet

dogwood (n.)
a tree of shrub of the genus Cornus often having showy bracts resembling flowers;
Synonyms: dogwood tree / cornel
dogwood (n.)
hard tough wood of any dogwood of the genus Cornus; resembles boxwood;
From wordnet.princeton.edu