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

On the eastern edge of Bushwick, the train burst out of the ground, into daylight, and lumbered down a stretch that looked semirural, with cemeteries on the left. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 No need to lumber down the trail like an overloaded gear head. Lauren Steele, WSJ, "America’s Best Secluded Swimming Holes—and How to Find Them," 20 June 2018 But back when dinosaurs lumbered across the place where Madison stands today, Earth spun faster around its axis. Chris J. Ratcliffe, National Geographic, "This Summer Solstice, Earth's Days Are Longer Than Ever," 20 June 2018 Meanwhile, the generic-and-lumbering Mr. Incredible is floored by his most diabolical villain yet: responsibility. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Incredibles 2 review: Brad Bird, Pixar are on fire with this superhero sequel," 15 June 2018 Now, with her sister’s two teenage sons lumbering in and out and her 4-year-old daughter pattering around plastic chairs, water buckets, and a coal pit on the dusty floor, Loum barely has room to turn around. Deirdre Fernandes,, "An education in hope," 7 July 2018 Rozalski incorporates fantastical elements into his landscapes: almost every painting includes some sort of leviathan or massive mech lumbering in the background. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Jakub Rozalski’s Howling at the Moon is a beautiful art book that merges real and fictional worlds," 17 Mar. 2018 Tall, heavy, lumbering, his massive frame filled the room. Mark Swed,, "As a conductor, composer and man, Oliver Knussen was larger than life," 10 July 2018 Heavy earth-moving vehicles lumbered along the beach, clearing the seaweed. David Fleshler,, "Seaweed assaults South Florida beaches," 20 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In one bright spot for builders and home-improvement companies, the cost of lumber has decreased. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Home-Improvement Stocks Slide Despite Strong Economy," 7 Nov. 2018 But, hey, what other truck will carry a 16-foot piece of lumber inside the vehicle? Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Bollinger B2 Is the Beefy Electric Truck We've Been Waiting For," 10 Oct. 2018 Burning Man co-founders Larry Harvey and Jerry James had transformed a pile of scrap lumber into an 8-foot-tall wooden figure that was doused in gasoline and set ablaze. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 My guys have done a great job cleaning up the site, getting the debris, getting the lumber out of here. Fox News, "Former NYSE chair on reopening Stock Exchange after 9/11," 12 Sep. 2018 Those costs are tied to a shortage of labor, as well as the impact of tariffs on lumber imported from Canada imposed by President Donald Trump, Newell said Thursday. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Delayed library/apartment development on Milwaukee's northwest side getting more time," 28 June 2018 The builder had seen Hull’s website and driven nearly 250 miles to the mill to inspect Hull’s high-end lumber as potential building material for his homes. Phil Mccausland /, NBC News, "Rural communities see big returns with broadband access, but roadblocks persist," 11 June 2018 Canada also has tight limits on poultry and egg imports, and the United States has accused Canada of subsidizing its lumber industry. Anchorage Daily News, "Analysis: There are ‘nuggets of truth’ to what Trump says about trade," 10 June 2018 Tiny coho fry scoot through the water, their shadows slinking across the clean sediment of the creek bottom, where the larvae of caddisfly lumber. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Battling Scotch broom along Olympic’s Hoh River that threatens fish, forests," 27 May 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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Statistics for lumber

Last Updated

2 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on lumber

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lumber

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lumber

Spanish Central: Translation of lumber

Nglish: Translation of lumber for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lumber for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lumber

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 faulty or ineffective

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