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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from lumber


lumber adjective

Verb (2)

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

Synonyms for lumber

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 In Chicago, some 45,000 runners clump shoulder to shoulder in the starting corral in Grant Park and then lumber past a nearly equal number of shouting spectators along the 26.2 mile route. Eric Zorn,, "Column: Chicago Marathon news a reminder that, in the long run, we’re going to make it through this," 20 Nov. 2020 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Prices for a new home have risen about 8% in the past year, some of that because of a sharp increase in the cost of framing lumber. Matt Ott, Star Tribune, "US contract signings to buy homes hits record for December," 29 Jan. 2021 Dozens of trucks carrying lumber have been set alight in furious protest. Eduardo Thomson,, "Amid Fire and Clashes, Chile’s Mapuche See Road to Reparations," 15 Oct. 2020 But Delgado, head of the local Artisans Council in El Alto, said the family had burned through their savings and now didn’t have money to buy lumber to carry on with its business. MarÍa Verza,, "Pandemic driving children back to work, jeopardizing gains," 15 Oct. 2020 The investigation into lumber could be limited in scope. Josh Zumbrun, WSJ, "U.S. to Investigate Vietnam for Currency Manipulation," 3 Oct. 2020 An 1888 article stated that the growing railroad town of Hope included lumber mills, a wagon factory, a cotton compress, two banks, a newspaper, a public school and an opera house in addition to the hotel. Rex Nelson, Arkansas Online, "A place called Hope," 10 Jan. 2021 It’s the third U.S. lumber partnership for Tolko, according to the company CEO Brad Thorlakson. William Thornton |, al, "Jasper Lumber announces $45 million expansion, to create 60 jobs," 29 Dec. 2020 At one time, the white pine was the most important lumber tree in the Upper Midwest, according to botanist John Hilty. Sheryl Devore,, "Lake County’s aromatic evergreens beckon in winter," 24 Dec. 2020 His father was in the lumber business, his mother was a nurse. Washington Post, "Chad Stuart, pop star with the 1960s British singing duo Chad & Jeremy, dies at 79," 23 Dec. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lumber

Time Traveler for lumber

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lumber

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!