- 1[intransitive] + adv./prep. to move in a slow, heavy and awkward way A family of elephants lumbered by. The huge convoy of trucks lumbered out of the city.
- 2[transitive, usually passive] lumber somebody (with somebody/something) (informal) to give somebody a responsibility, etc., that they do not want and that they cannot get rid of When our parents went out, my sister got lumbered with me for the evening. She might say ‘Yes’. Then you’d be lumbered. Word Originverb sense 1 late Middle English lomere, perhaps symbolic of clumsy movement. verb sense 2 mid 16th cent.: perhaps from lumber ‘move slowly and awkwardly’; later associated with obsolete lumber ‘pawnbroker's shop’.Extra examples He lumbered to his feet and went to see who was at the door. I suppose I’ll get lumbered with the extra work. She lumbered over towards me. The elephants lumbered slowly along the path. The neighbours have gone off for the evening and lumbered me with their kids. A dozen elephants lumbered slowly past. He lumbered up the hill, stopping frequently to get his breath back.
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbər//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lumber
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbə(r)//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbər//he / she / it lumbers
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbəz//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbərz//past simple lumbered
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbərd//past participle lumbered
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbəd//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbərd//-ing form lumbering
BrE BrE//ˈlʌmbərɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlʌmbərɪŋ//