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

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 Touted as a potential future James Bond on various occasions over the last decade, Jonathan Rhys Meyers appears to have made his audition reel in Damascus Cover, a lumbering old-school spy thriller by Israeli writer-director Daniel Zelik Berk. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Damascus Cover': Film Review," 4 July 2018 The Mariners, a club with a lot of lumbering everyday players, such as Nelson Cruz, have played (and won) a ton of one-run games early this season. Paul Daugherty,, "TML: USGA made its golf course the story, not its U.S. Open winner," 18 June 2018 Subtropical Storm Alberto lumbered ashore Monday on the U.S. Gulf Coast, pelting white sand beaches with blustery winds and stinging rain that kept the usual Memorial Day crowds away. Jennifer Kay,, "Storm Alberto strikes Gulf Coast with dangerous surf, heavy rains," 28 May 2018 So much of what happens in the years after your child is born is a slow process of finding yourself, lumbering out of that warm mother cave and shivering in the delicious chill. Amber Sparks, The Cut, "Rediscovering Vanity, As a Mom," 21 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The lumber mills are pumping out boards and paper products for use at home and for exports to the Lower 48 and Asia. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Think you’ve driven crazy roads? Just wait till you try driving the Fraser River Valley," 26 May 2018 While there, Helton visited a back room in the clubhouse and reminisced while looking at the bat rack where his lumber once rested. Washington Post, "No Opening Day: Ex-major leaguers struggle with retirement," 26 Mar. 2018 In the mid-’70s, the roads around the Lincoln Street market were rerouted, leaving it on a dead-end street with little foot traffic, and cutting it off from the lumber mill entirely. Keith Pandolfi,, "How Near East rice pilaf became a New England staple," 12 Mar. 2018 The once-bustling lumber mill that sliced and shipped Douglas fir throughout the Pacific Northwest closed two years ago when the machines got too old and expensive to replace. Patrick Mcgreevy,, "California's pot regulator warns 900 marijuana shops that they must stop operating without a state license," 8 Mar. 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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Phrases Related to lumber

lumber with

Statistics for lumber

Last Updated

9 Sep 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

What made you want to look up lumber? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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