Definition: Timber

From New World Encyclopedia


From Middle English tymber, from Old English timber, from Proto-West Germanic *timr, from Proto-Germanic *timrą, from Proto-Indo-European *dem- (“build, house”).

Cognates include Dutch timmer, Old High German zimbar (German Zimmer), Norwegian tømmer, Old Norse timbr, Gothic 𐍄𐌹𐌼𐍂𐌾𐌰𐌽 (timrjan, “to build”), Latin domus and Ancient Greek δόμος (dómos).


timber (countable and uncountable, plural timbers)

  1. (uncountable) Trees in a forest regarded as a source of wood.f
    collect timber
    cut down timber
  2. (outside Canada, US, uncountable) Wood that has been pre-cut and is ready for use in construction. (US lumber).
  3. (countable) A heavy wooden beam, generally a whole log that has been squared off and used to provide heavy support for things such as roof
    the ship's timbers.
  4. Material for any structure.

Derived terms

  • shiver me timbers
  • timbered
  • Timber Lake
  • timberland
  • timberline
  • timber wolf
  • timberyard


  1. Used by loggers to warn others that a tree being felled is falling.


timber (third-person singular simple present timbers, present participle timbering, simple past and past participle timbered)

  1. (transitive) To fit with timbers.
    timbering a roof
  2. (falconry, intransitive) To light or land on a tree.


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