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 Drake Jackson, the standout freshman defensive end, lumbered closely behind, wearing a bulky padded boot on his left foot. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "Serious injuries rob USC of more key players: ‘It’s going to take some time’," 21 Oct. 2019 No hawkers lumbered through the stands, calling out offerings of hot dogs and beer. Alan Behr,, "Horseshoes and straw hats: a day of polo in Connecticut," 8 Oct. 2019 The federation lumbered through five weeks of internal investigation before contacting a law enforcement agency. Juliet Macur, New York Times, "The Center of U.S. Gymnastics’ Success Is Now a Haunted House," 16 Jan. 2018 During a photoshoot between the ceremony and the reception, a black bear lumbered into the lovebirds’ shots. Kelli Bender,, "It's Wild Out There! All the Surprising Places Wild Bears Have Popped Up This Year," 22 Oct. 2019 The new president will face daunting challenges, starting with the prospects of economic and, possibly, political reform in a one-party state lumbering under a stagnant economy. Patrick J. Mcdonnell,, "Few political changes likely as Cuba moves on from six decades under the Castro brothers," 18 Apr. 2018 Even after a headshot, the beast may continue to lumber forward in pursuit of the player’s brains. The Economist, "Britain’s economy is holding up well—for now," 2 Nov. 2019 Next up, Eagle lumbers out looking like a castoff from Easy Rider in his fringe jacket, bell bottoms and red headband. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'The Masked Singer' Recap: The Eagle Has Crash-Landed," 10 Oct. 2019 Gone are lumbering fourth-liners skating six minutes a night. Alex Prewitt,, "Double Duty: The Value of a Two-Way Forward in Today’s NHL," 2 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fred Taylor, the third of four children, was born May 23, 1932, in Princeton, Ky., where his father ran a lumber company. Washington Post, "Fred Taylor, D.C. minister who helped close harrowing children’s shelter, dies at 87," 28 Nov. 2019 Sainted On Monday, Sept. 23, at approximately 5:30 or 6 p.m., my son was spotted walking along in Stillwater near the ABC lumber company or thereabouts. Sainted & Tainted Writers, Twin Cities, "Sainted & Tainted: Thank you from a very grateful mother," 28 Sep. 2019 Because both trucks were wide and the road was closed, the driver of the Mentor lumber company's flatbed attempted to pass on the left in the westbound lane and had to drive up over the grass to avoid hitting the dump truck, owned by a Stow company. Thomas Jewell,, "Worker drops 30 feet with falling tree, regains consciousness: Hunting Valley Police Blotter," 23 Aug. 2019 Before placing a massive short bet that lumber company share prices would fall, executives at the hedge fund confirmed the theory by hiring a drone to fly over lumberyards, people familiar with the matter told CNN Business. Matt Egan, CNN, "How hedge funds use drones, satellite images and web scraping to gain an edge," 10 July 2019 Henry Ross Perot was born June 27, 1930, in Texarkana, Texas, to Gabriel Elias Perot, a cotton broker, and Lulu May Perot, a secretary for a small lumber company. Scott Martelle,, "Ross Perot dead: Texas billionaire and former presidential candidate succumbs to leukemia at 89," 9 July 2019 Credit Rams coach Sean McVay for protecting his QB with misdirections and rollouts, but that’s lumber Jared Goff, not Lamar Jackson. Scott Ostler,, "49ers’ Super Bowl flight hitting just a bit of choppy air," 21 Dec. 2019 The former cattle and lumber town sits at 7,000 feet and is surrounded by foothills, shaded by 12,000-foot peaks, and laced with hiking and mountain biking trails. Outside Online, "Arizona’s Most Passionate Defender of Wild Places," 20 Dec. 2019 Like today’s oaks and maples, Archaeopteris boasted flat, green leaves ideal for absorbing sunlight and girthy, lumber-worthy trunks that helped the plant grow out as well as up. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The World’s Oldest Forest Has 385-Million-Year-Old Tree Roots," 20 Dec. 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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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

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


to insert between existing elements

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