verb (1)
lum·​ber | \ ˈləm-bər How to pronounce lumber (audio) \
lumbered; lumbering\ ˈləm-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce lumbering (audio) \

Definition of lumber

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to move ponderously an elephant lumbering along the road The economy continues to lumber along.
2 : rumble lumbering machines



Definition of lumber (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : surplus or disused articles (such as furniture) that are stored away
2a : timber or logs especially when dressed for use
b : any of various structural materials prepared in a form similar to lumber


verb (2)
lumbered; lumbering\ ˈləm-​b(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce lumbering (audio) \

Definition of lumber (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to clutter with or as if with lumber : encumber plan to lumber the tiny town with a giant ski resort— Marilyn Stasio
2 : to heap together in disorder
3 : to log and saw the timber of

intransitive verb

1 : to cut logs for lumber
2 : to saw logs into lumber for the market

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Other Words from lumber


lumber adjective

Verb (2)

lumberer \ ˈləm-​bər-​ər How to pronounce lumberer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for lumber

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of lumber in a Sentence

Noun He works for a lumber company. had a clearout of all his old lumber and finally got rid of it
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At a time when many real estate pros, market analysts and American shoppers view some big-box department store chains as dinosaurs lumbering toward extinction, the bones of Kmarts and Sears stores are piling up around Denver. Joe Rubino, The Denver Post, "What’s becoming of Denver’s former Sears and Kmart stores?," 24 Nov. 2019 Miguel Cabrera lumbered around from first to score the game’s first run on Jeimer Candelario’s double. Noah Trister, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Twins clinch AL Central with win over Tigers, Cleveland loss," 25 Sep. 2019 The bench units seemed to stifle Cousins, who lumbered out of place in the half court with little engagement in the action. Michael Shapiro,, "How DeMarcus Cousins Helped Flip the NBA Finals," 5 June 2019 Instead, the binos revealed a giant gray boar hog lumbering toward the feeder. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "Why Our Hunting Editor, a 6.5 Creedmoor Hater, Finally Caved and Bought a New Rifle," 6 Dec. 2019 Two military vehicles lumber forth—one to lead, the other to guard the rear. Robert Draper, National Geographic, "Surrounded by chaos, Niger is a nation on the edge," 17 June 2019 When Ole lumbered into the WesleyLife Senior Community recently, no one scattered. Omar Villafranca, CBS News, "Therapy bull inspires seniors to grab life by the horns," 22 Jan. 2020 To his credit, Storgards in this movement and elsewhere chose not to wallow in lumbering tempos and general nostalgia, the usual clichés of Tchaikovsky performance. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: A dynamic debut from violinist Ray Chen," 6 Dec. 2019 Drake Jackson, the standout freshman defensive end, lumbered closely behind, wearing a bulky padded boot on his left foot. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "Serious injuries rob USC of more key players: ‘It’s going to take some time’," 21 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the foot of Johnson Street, a large hunk of metal was half awash — apparently the fuel tank or some remnant of the old lumber schooner Lassen, which was retired and run up on the mudflat more than 80 years ago. Carl Nolte,, "The Bay Area is showing off its pink again, and boy is it glorious," 22 Feb. 2020 The Village of Tewa has a contract with the company, giving it exclusive rights to lumber within 75 miles of Polacca. The Republic |, "To stay warm this winter, Hopi and Navajo families are forced to look beyond coal," 20 Feb. 2020 Hannah Ann's father, Rick, works in the lumber industry as a forester, and there are two ways to impress him: Good character, and being tough. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'The Bachelor' recap: Peter bails on Victoria F.'s hometown date but Kelsey goes home," 18 Feb. 2020 The dirt road was so sliced up by eroding rains and lumber-truck wheels that Souza, who had spent the drive quietly praying aloud, stopped to concentrate on her driving. Elizabeth Barber, The New Yorker, "A Nun’s Journey in the Amazon," 17 Feb. 2020 Eastern Kentucky may have once exported as much hardwood lumber as any place on Earth. Washington Post, "Kentucky was devastated for decades by mountaintop removal. Now scientists have figured out a way to undo the damage — one tree at a time.," 13 Feb. 2020 To bring lumber from the Great Lakes states to the booming cities of the East, the railroad companies laid track through western Virginia in the 1820s. Longreads, "In Pocahontas County, Deep Divisions and a Gruesome Discovery," 22 Jan. 2020 Private logging operations would like to target the largest trees, ignoring the small stuff that won’t yield lumber. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Why isn’t California using more prescribed burns to reduce fire risk?," 21 Jan. 2020 For the home’s traditional front porch, Ben used reclaimed pine lumber salvaged from the home's interior to make a set of custom chairs. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "You Can Buy This Renovated House From Home Town," 16 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lumber.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lumber

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1642, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for lumber

Verb (1)

Middle English lomeren


perhaps from Lombard; from the use of pawnshops as storehouses of disused property

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Time Traveler for lumber

Time Traveler

The first known use of lumber was in the 14th century

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Statistics for lumber

Last Updated

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for lumber



English Language Learners Definition of lumber

US : wooden boards or logs that have been sawed and cut for use
British : large objects that are no longer used or wanted


lum·​ber | \ ˈləm-bər How to pronounce lumber (audio) \
lumbered; lumbering

Kids Definition of lumber

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move in a slow or awkward way An elephant lumbered along the road.



Kids Definition of lumber (Entry 2 of 2)

: timber especially when sawed into boards

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