Definition of timber in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtɪmbə/


[mass noun]
1Wood prepared for use in building and carpentry: the exploitation of forests for timber [as modifier]: a small timber building
More example sentences
  • The rainforest is being cleared legally and illegally for timber, for pulp wood to make paper, and to make way for oil palm plantations.
  • An abundance of coppice woods, known as spring woods, were required to provide charcoal, tan bark, fuel wood and timber.
  • They cleared some of the natural broadleaf woodland to make way for sheep pastures; they also coppiced or managed other parts of the woodland for timber and firewood.
wood, logs, firewood;
planks, wood products;
forest, woodland, woods;
North American  lumber
1.1Trees grown for use in building or carpentry: contracts to cut timber
More example sentences
  • Today, top grade oak timber is increasingly hard to find, with borer-perforated trees more suitable for paper or pulpwood.
  • That's because until seedlings reach green-up, regulations keep adjacent cut blocks of marketable timber off limits to loggers.
  • The cooperative has formed forest protection teams that have helped in the confiscation of illegally cut timber.
1.2 [count noun] (usually timbers) A wooden beam or board used in building a house or ship.
Example sentences
  • The low, irregular ceiling is crisscrossed with beams made from ships' timbers and a log fire crackles merrily in the hearth.
  • The house or building is reinforced with timbers supporting the floors inside.
  • Cedar, fir, and pine were the preferred ship timbers of the ancient Mediterranean.
(wooden) beam, spar, pole, plank, batten, lath, board, joist, rafter
1.3 [as exclamation] Used to warn that a tree is about to fall after being cut: we cried ‘Timber!’ as our tree fell
2 [usually with adjective] US informal Personal qualities or character: she is frequently hailed as presidential timber
More example sentences
  • A woman just will not be accepted as presidential timber in the current macho-male-dominated political environment.
  • I definitely think he is presidential timber.
  • What is the real meaning of presidential timber?


Old English in the sense 'a building', also 'building material', of Germanic origin; related to German Zimmer 'room', from an Indo-European root meaning 'build'.

  • Timber originally meant a building as well as building material. Of Germanic origin, it is related to German Zimmer ‘room’, from an Indo-European root meaning ‘to build’.

Words that rhyme with timber

limber, marimba
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