from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Trees or wooded land considered as a source of wood.
  • n. Wood used as a building material; lumber.
  • n. A dressed piece of wood, especially a beam in a structure.
  • n. Nautical A rib in a ship's frame.
  • n. A person considered to have qualities suited for a particular activity: That trainee is executive timber.
  • transitive v. To support or frame with timbers: timber a mine shaft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Trees in a forest regarded as a source of wood.
  • n. Wood that has been pre-cut and is ready for use in construction.
  • n. A heavy wooden beam, generally a whole log that has been squared off and used to provide heavy support for something such as a roof. Historically also used in the plural, as in "ship's timbers".
  • interj. Used by loggers to warn others that a tree being felled is falling.
  • v. To fit with timbers.
  • v. To light or land on a tree.
  • v. To make a nest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A certain quantity of fur skins, as of martens, ermines, sables, etc., packed between boards; being in some cases forty skins, in others one hundred and twenty; -- called also timmer.
  • n. The crest on a coat of arms.
  • n. That sort of wood which is proper for buildings or for tools, utensils, furniture, carriages, fences, ships, and the like; -- usually said of felled trees, but sometimes of those standing. Cf. lumber, 3.
  • n. The body, stem, or trunk of a tree.
  • n. Fig.: Material for any structure.
  • n. A single piece or squared stick of wood intended for building, or already framed; collectively, the larger pieces or sticks of wood, forming the framework of a house, ship, or other structure, in distinction from the covering or boarding.
  • n. Woods or forest; wooden land.
  • n. A rib, or a curving piece of wood, branching outward from the keel and bending upward in a vertical direction. One timber is composed of several pieces united.
  • intransitive v. To light on a tree.
  • intransitive v. To make a nest.
  • transitive v. To surmount as a timber does.
  • transitive v. To furnish with timber; -- chiefly used in the past participle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish (a tunnel, drift, gallery, or other excavation) with braced frames of logs or squared timbers which support the roof and resist the caving in or crushing at the sides.
  • n. Wood suitable for building houses or ships, or for use in carpentry, joinery, etc.; trees cut down and squared or capable of being squared and cut into beams, rafters, planks, boards, etc.
  • n. Growing trees, yielding wood suitable for constructive uses; trees generally; woods. See timber-tree.
  • n. In British law, the kind of tree which a tenant for life may not cut; in general, oak, ash, and elm of the age of twenty years and upward, unless so old as not to have a reasonable quantity of useful wood in them, the limit being, according to some authorities, enough to make a good post.
  • n. Stuff; material.
  • n. A single piece of wood, either suitable for use in some construction or already in such use; a beam, either by itself or forming a member of any structure: as, the timbers of a house or of a bridge.
  • n. Nautical, one of the curving pieces of wood branching upward from the keel of a vessel, forming the ribs.
  • n. The wooden part of something, as the beam or handle of a spear.
  • n. The stocks.
  • Constructed of timber; made of wood.
  • To build; make a nest.
  • To furnish with timber. See timbered.
  • To surmount and decorate, as a crest does a coat of arms.
  • n. In cricket, the stumps; the wickets: usually in the plural.
  • n. In mining, a local name for a braced frame forming the roof and side-supports of a gallery or drilt.
  • n. A certain number or tale of skins, being forty of marten, ermine, sable, and the like, and one hundred and twenty of others.
  • n. In heraldry, originally, the crest; hence, in modern heraldry, the helmet, miter, coronet, etc., when placed over the arms in a complete achievement.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a post made of wood
  • n. a beam made of wood
  • n. (music) the distinctive property of a complex sound (a voice or noise or musical sound)
  • n. land that is covered with trees and shrubs
  • n. the wood of trees cut and prepared for use as building material


Middle English, from Old English, building, trees for building; see dem- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English tymber, from Old English timber, from Proto-Germanic *timran, from Proto-Indo-European *demh₂- (“build, house”) (see Proto-Indo-European *dṓm). Cognates include Old High German zimbar (German Zimmer), Old Norse timbr, Gothic 𐍄𐌹𐌼𐍂𐌾𐌰𐌽 (timrjan, "to build"), and Latin domus. (Wiktionary)


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