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

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Other Words from lumber


lumber adjective

Verb (2)

lumberer \ ˈləm-​bər-​ər How to pronounce lumber (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 But Hurricane Ida joined a long list of increasingly powerful and rain-soaked storms that lumber into some of the most expensive real estate in the world, pummeling refineries, fishing villages, and tony communities alike. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 Sep. 2021 Pujols managed to lumber to third base on a flyout before Buehler replaced him as a pinch-runner and scored the go-ahead run on Trea Turner’s sacrifice fly. Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2021 The turboprops roar every quarter-hour or so as the planes lumber down the crowded tarmac. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2021 Read on for Forbes’ take on the latest personal finance news, spanning from crypto crashes to lumber prices to child tax credits (and more). Eliza Haverstock, Forbes, 18 June 2021 Every night sometime between 3 and 4 am, massive commercial garbage haulers lumber up and down the street right underneath the bedroom brakes gnashing on trash lit up with twinkle lights like neon dinosaurs. Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time, 26 July 2021 Polar bears lumber along the ice floes looking for seals and dive gracefully through the crystalline blue waters. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, 29 June 2021 For manufacturers, though, labor shortages are compounded by tight supplies and high prices for materials from steel to lumber to resin. Nora Naughton, WSJ, 22 June 2021 Commodity prices from oil to copper to lumber have surged. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 10 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thousands of people who have lost homes in the California wildfires have discovered too late that their insurance coverage has not kept up with the rising cost of lumber, labor and other rebuilding materials. San Francisco Chronicle, 30 Sep. 2021 The cost of commodities like lumber, steel and gypsum have been going through the roof, and builders are struggling to get their hands on enough supply. Brian H. Robb, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Demand for lumber, wallboard, insulation and the like typically follows a pattern, Shute said. NBC News, 5 Sep. 2021 Newsom’s administration has said efforts to thin the forest wouldn’t target larger, more valuable lumber. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Sep. 2021 There was one house with a few amber slivers of fish flesh hanging on a rack, visible from the road at the back corner of a lot jumbled with spare lumber, pallets and a makeshift boardwalk of plywood plopped over mud puddles. Zachariah Hughes, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Sep. 2021 The mill produces construction lumber, such as two-by-fours and two-by-six studs. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2021 This kind of assembly has its selling points: wooden I-beam flooring has less of a likelihood of buckling or warping than a floor made entirely of dimensional lumber (like a 2-by-4 of solid wood) and is generally quieter., 29 Aug. 2021 Conversely, the latest quarter brought stronger sales for categories that typically depend on professional contracting work, such as lumber, flooring and plumbing supplies. Matt Grossman, WSJ, 17 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near lumber




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Statistics for lumber

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lumber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on lumber

Nglish: Translation of lumber for Spanish Speakers

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


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