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 These bears lumber through the forests by night, snacking on fruits, berries, roots, insects, small birds, lizards, and rodents. Fox News, "10 different kinds of bear: Everything you need to know about the huge mammals," 10 Mar. 2020 Whereas Spicer lumbers beside his partner, Mitchell and Carson wear the show lightly, and look joyful. Christopher Borrelli,, "'DWTS’ recap: Spicer, our long national nightmare, continues on; but Kel Mitchell shines," 4 Nov. 2019 So bad, in fact, that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man lumbered over from New York to claim it as his castle. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Someone call Ghostbusters. This Italian restaurant is crawling with ghosts," 6 Oct. 2019 The big, lumbering, immortal bombers flew low over the New Orleans area and beyond. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch All the Best Flyovers From Operation America Strong," 7 May 2020 But there is concern that security services will be lumbered with costly surveillance if there is insufficient evidence to charge returnees. Washington Post, "Europe has resisted taking back citizens who joined ISIS. Now, it may not have a choice.," 14 Nov. 2019 To our delight, bears lumbered along the shoreline or galloped into the water to try to snag a fish. Eva Sohlman, New York Times, "Forged by Volcanoes, Kamchatka Offers Majestic, Magnetic Wilds," 7 Oct. 2019 Paul Walter Hauser, as the titular character, lumbers onto screen, physically commanding if almost boyishly deferential to Bryant, played with irritating bombast by Sam Rockwell. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "The People vs. Richard Jewell," 20 Dec. 2019 The home fans’ celebrations continued as stewards lumbered to catch him. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Coutinho scores 1st goal for Bayern in 4-0 rout of Cologne," 21 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fire snaked along the train on the bridge, burning through the wooden cars, including a flatbed of lumber, heading toward two tanker cars. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "An early morning rower on Tempe Town Lake watches the aftermath of the train derailment," 29 July 2020 The train consisted of several tankers and cars carrying lumber. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Arizona bridge partially collapses after train derailment," 29 July 2020 The outlet reports that a burning train car was reportedly carrying lumber, some of which went into the lake below the train bridge, Tempe Town Lake near Phoenix. CBS News, "Train derails and bridge partially collapses in Arizona," 29 July 2020 McMahan said that between eight and 10 train cars caught fire, according to the AP, and many were carrying lumber, some of which fell into the lake below, KTVK/CBS affiliate KPHO reported. Rachel Desantis,, "Az. Train Derails Atop Bridge That Catches Fire and Collapses: 'Like a Scene from Hell'," 29 July 2020 The lumber and flooring manufacturer faces $218,192 in penalties. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Lumber company facing $218K fine in connection with Selma worker’s death," 9 July 2020 Both are an alternative to traditional stick and frame construction, where lumber is measured, cut and nailed into place on-site, to be followed by wiring, plumbing and ductwork. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Connecticut Ave. apartment components were built in a Baltimore factory," 27 June 2020 People began the tagging about 1 a.m. and some used pieces of 2-by-4 lumber and a hammer to break out windows, according to police and videos shared on social media. oregonlive, "Workers board up Portland’s downtown police precinct after windows broken, more graffiti overnight," 1 July 2020 Dawson Cody Porter, 22, used a piece of lumber to break a window of the fire station and made his way inside the building around 9 p.m., the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department said in an online statement. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Fisherman steals a King Salmon fire truck, drives to bar with emergency lights on," 29 June 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

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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