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

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

Last week, as the 2019 legislative session came to a slow, lumbering close, Gov. Ned Lamont signaled there's still some unfinished business floating around (or maybe overhead, in the form of toll gantries). Michael Hamad,, "Capitol Watch Podcast: Before Connecticut legislators left for the summer, they passed some last-minute bills. We break it down for you.," 11 June 2019 Most Read Local Stories Leaving the hospital, Krasnitskiy lumbered into the parking lot gingerly, his feet still partly numb from frostbite. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "‘It’s miserable, but we’re alive’: Portland climber recounts dramatic days stranded on Mount Rainier," 6 June 2019 Passengers on a flight from Baltimore got an only-in-Florida greeting at Orlando International Airport early Monday when an alligator was spotted lumbering across the runway. Jeff Weiner,, "Arriving flight greeted by gator crossing runway at Orlando International Airport," 11 June 2018 An Achilles tear is a devastating injury for any player, but particularly to one as big and lumbering as Cousins. Tim Bontemps,, "Will DeMarcus Cousins be back with the New Orleans Pelicans?," 9 May 2018 At 6 feet 4 and known for lumbering about with his bald head down in thought, Gibson cut a formidable figure in the newsroom, an image that belied his compassion for reporters and knack for magic tricks. Corina Knoll,, "Bob Gibson, former L.A. Times foreign editor, dies at 89," 23 June 2018 That's quite a departure from the days of giant, slug-like, totally conspicuous vehicles lumbering across the barren battlefields of World War I. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "100 Years Ago Today, Tanks Changed Warfare Forever," 15 Sep. 2016 When coasting, or when the driver applies just a little brake in a situation such as lumbering down a gentle hill, eTorque operates on pure regen, in which the truck's conventional disc brakes are disabled. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Ram 1500 eTorque: Why the Electrified Pickup Truck Is Even Better," 19 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

No hazardous waste, paint, tires, car parts, tree parts, lumber, fences, yard waste, construction materials, glass, carpeting and absolutely no materials from professional contractors. Chris Folks,, "What time is it? It's summertime!," 14 June 2019 The average cost to build a new home in Greater Cincinnati is soaring, thanks, in part, to the tariffs imposed by the Trump administration on lumber, steel, aluminum and other building materials. Randy Tucker,, "Trump tariffs hit local homebuilders and buyers hard," 9 June 2019 With the right blade, a circular saw can be used to cut framing lumber, sheet goods, roofing, metal, masonry, and more. Tim Layton, Popular Mechanics, "Out Best Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Circular Saw," 14 Mar. 2019 About a dozen firefighters were on the roof, which was mostly made of lumber, when the collapse occurred, Mr. DeVita said. Katie Honan, WSJ, "Fire Rips Through Queens Commercial Strip, Injuring 12," 13 Dec. 2018 At the same time, the cost of home construction has risen rapidly, as have the prices of lumber, gypsum, construction labor, and land. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Why shrinking U.S. homes may be a boost to homebuyers," 29 Nov. 2018 Limited trade wars over lumber, pulp and paper, and other products have flared on and off for decades. Washington Post, "Canada-US relations at a low after Trudeau-Trump trade tiff," 14 June 2018 But shippers ranging from pasta giant Barilla America Inc. to small lumber... Paul Ziobro, WSJ, "Railroads Want to Move Faster. Shippers Are Paying a Price.," 29 May 2019 Jocasta is the owner of a vast plantation called River Run in North Carolina, made wealthy by the sale of tobacco, lumber, and turpentine and based on the work of slaves. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4's Second Episode," 12 Nov. 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

17 Jun 2019

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

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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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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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