verb (1)
lum·​ber | \ˈləm-bər \
lumbered; lumbering\ ˈləm-​b(ə-​)riŋ \

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 \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for lumber

Synonyms: Noun

timber, wood

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Examples of lumber in a Sentence


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

Meanwhile, the generic-and-lumbering Mr. Incredible is floored by his most diabolical villain yet: responsibility. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Incredibles 2 review: Brad Bird, Pixar are on fire with this superhero sequel," 15 June 2018 Now, with her sister’s two teenage sons lumbering in and out and her 4-year-old daughter pattering around plastic chairs, water buckets, and a coal pit on the dusty floor, Loum barely has room to turn around. Deirdre Fernandes,, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 Rozalski incorporates fantastical elements into his landscapes: almost every painting includes some sort of leviathan or massive mech lumbering in the background. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Jakub Rozalski’s Howling at the Moon is a beautiful art book that merges real and fictional worlds," 17 Mar. 2018 Tall, heavy, lumbering, his massive frame filled the room. Mark Swed,, "As a conductor, composer and man, Oliver Knussen was larger than life," 10 July 2018 Heavy earth-moving vehicles lumbered along the beach, clearing the seaweed. David Fleshler,, "Seaweed assaults South Florida beaches," 20 June 2018 In a world of carbon fiber frames and electric motors, Ofo's heavy steel bikes were lumbering and basic. Mark Harris, WIRED, "The Bike Share War Is Shaking Up Seattle Like Nowhere Else," 14 June 2018 Rusty Staub, baseball’s lumbering Le Grand Orange and one of the finest and most durable hitters of his time, playing in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s mostly for Houston, Montreal, Detroit and the Mets, died on Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla. Richard Goldstein, New York Times, "Rusty Staub, Durable Batter Who Won Pennant With Mets, Dies at 73," 29 Mar. 2018 Imagine robot planters the size of small bears, lumbering slowly around gardens and parks, looking for a place to sun themselves. James Vincent, The Verge, "This sun-chasing robot looks after the plant on its head," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tiny coho fry scoot through the water, their shadows slinking across the clean sediment of the creek bottom, where the larvae of caddisfly lumber. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Battling Scotch broom along Olympic’s Hoh River that threatens fish, forests," 27 May 2018 Homebuilders nationally have also struggled with costs of timber for new houses, the price of which has risen to record highs in 2018 after the Trump administration’s decision to place tariffs on Canadian lumber. Erin Arvedlund,, "Toll Bros. gets some love from Barron's magazine," 9 July 2018 Last year, in one of the Trump administration's first actions on trade, the U.S. government imposed tariffs on Canadian lumber. Jackie Spinner,, "Trump's trade war threatens the U.S. newspaper industry: 'This is insane'," 25 June 2018 The cost of construction material has risen in aggregate by 4 percent between 2016 and 2017, led by the skyrocketing price of lumber. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "U.S. housing market continues rebound, despite increased inequality, says Harvard report," 19 June 2018 He's heard from building contractors and home builders that lumber costs could rise by 50 percent. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Rep. Joe Courtney Talks At Chamber Breakfast," 11 July 2018 The price of lumber settling in September is up 66% since Trump’s election, thanks to wildfires and trade disputes between the U.S. and Canada tightening supply. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Tuesday, July 10," 10 July 2018 Built in 1880 for lumber merchant Albert S. Bacon, the 5,091-square-foot residence has since been carefully restored. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "This Savannah mansion comes with multiple apartments, wants $1.6M," 19 June 2018 The interior is decorated with ancient saws and axes, left over from the region’s lumber mill roots, and deer heads and antlers, donated by generations of hunters. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Father, son bond writing U.P. bars book and it becomes a cult classic," 10 June 2018

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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Statistics for lumber

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lumber

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

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More Definitions for lumber



English Language Learners Definition of lumber

: wooden boards or logs that have been sawed and cut for use

: large objects that are no longer used or wanted


lum·​ber | \ˈləm-bər \
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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Comments on lumber

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a private place of worship

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