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 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 Maybe such levels of distrust are what have kept this long, lumbering bull market from turning into a speculative blow-off. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "When You Lose 99.9%, You’ve Lost More Than Money," 7 Sep. 2018 There is the whoosh-squoosh of the juice vendor squashing her oranges on the corner, the growl of a hundred motorbikes, the wheeze of a thousand lumbering buses. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "Bogotá’s Cacophony Is Hushed by Virus as Congested Streets Empty Out," 30 Mar. 2020 The Dolphin Adventures tourist boat zipped past lumbering tankers, including the NS Columbus and Everest Spirit, both riding high in the water. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Battle of Port 'A'," 12 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With all nonemergency work on hold, demand for S&V’s lumber, paint, and plumbing and electrical equipment is on hold, too. Hillary Chura, The Christian Science Monitor, "‘We’re open for them’: The small shops in New York trying to stay afloat," 7 May 2020 Workers will construct booths using lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Fishers gets the first real Shake Shack in the Indianapolis area," 13 Feb. 2020 By midmorning a crew was on site, unloading shoring lumber from a flatbed truck. J.k. Dineen,, "Cole Hardware eyes Bernal Heights return three years after fire," 4 Dec. 2019 Conner specializes in supplying cut lumber for pallets, crates, and skid parts, fully assembled custom pallets, crates and industrial containers. William Thornton |, al, "Conner Industries to open Montgomery plant, hire 100," 7 Oct. 2019 Over the generations, the family cut down sugar pine, white fir, red fir and other trees to make framing lumber for houses and other products. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, "World’s largest privately owned giant sequoia forest sold for $15 million," 17 Sep. 2019 Wood and its fasteners, and even pressure-treated lumber, just start to wear. Linda Gandee/special To,, "Citizens voice support for Avon Lake Play Space renovation," 9 Sep. 2019 His second year retrieving lumber after at-bats will conclude with appearances Friday and Saturday, as well as Wednesday, July 31 and Saturday, August 10. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "You have four more chances to see Colt the bat dog at a Madison Mallards game this summer," 25 July 2019 Social media lights up with joy any time a player sends his lumber skyward, and while a KBO-style toss is still a bridge too far, drops and heaves are commonplace now. Jon Tayler,, "There's No Villain in the Madison Bumgarner-Max Muncy Spat," 11 June 2019

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

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 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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Comments on lumber

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