dis·​card | \ dis-ˈkärd How to pronounce discard (audio) , ˈdis-ˌkärd \
discarded; discarding; discards

Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to get rid of especially as useless or unwanted a pile of discarded tires They quickly discarded the idea.
2a : to remove (a playing card) from one's hand (see hand entry 1 sense 7a(1)) discarded an ace
b : to play (any card except a trump) from a suit different from the one led

intransitive verb

: to discard a playing card discard at the end of your turn


dis·​card | \ ˈdis-ˌkärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \

Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : the act of removing a playing card from one's hand : the act of discarding (see discard entry 1 sense 2a)
b : a card discarded collected the discards
2 : one that is cast off or rejected

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Other Words from discard


discardable \ dis-​ˈkärd-​də-​bəl How to pronounce discardable (audio) , ˈdis-​ˌkär-​ \ adjective
discarder noun

Choose the Right Synonym for discard


discard, cast, shed, slough, scrap, junk mean to get rid of. discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless. discard old clothes cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation. cast off her friends shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster. shed a bad habit finally sloughed off the depression scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form. scrap all the old ways would junk our educational system

Examples of discard in a Sentence

Verb Remove and discard the stems. a pile of discarded tires She discarded the six of hearts. Noun toss all of your discards in the garbage
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The challenge filed with the D.C. Board of Elections says that more than 2,000 of the 5,600 signatures on the recall petitions should be discarded. Fenit Nirappil, Washington Post, "Jack Evans challenges attempt to recall him from D.C. Council," 29 Nov. 2019 The kittens and cats were bound with duct tape and wrapped in sheets and were found inside cardboard boxes, according to investigators, who added that the animals were then discarded into the building’s trash chute. Fox News, "Dead kittens and cat found in NY trash chute, and Long Island man is arrested: police," 28 Nov. 2019 But authorities were unable to find Bryla’s remains during a search of an Indiana landfill -- the site where garbage from the dumpster at the South Side motel would have been discarded. Jeremy Gorner, chicagotribune.com, "Parolee charged with murder in death of Chicago woman missing for months," 27 Nov. 2019 Reuse This Bag, a maker of eco-friendly bags and materials, told Forbes magazine in 2018 that a plastic bag has an average 12-minute lifespan from the moment it’s filled with groceries to the moment it is discarded. Phillip Morris, cleveland, "America must stop being a Turkey and suffocating itself with cheap plastic bags: Phillip Morris," 27 Nov. 2019 The first two – concerning representation in the House and congressional pay – didn’t meet the three-fourths ratification requirement and were discarded. Stephanie Barclay, Twin Cities, "Stephanie Barclay: 5 myths about the Constitution," 11 Nov. 2019 Throughout the book, Coates illustrates how black bodies have been discarded and destroyed at every turn in American history, from centuries of slavery to Jim Crow lynchings to the police killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Time Staff, Time, "The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s," 11 Nov. 2019 That includes food left on plates, but also food that goes bad while in transit, food that expires while sitting on the shelves, and scraps that get discarded during cooking prep. Juliana Shallcross, Condé Nast Traveler, "The World's Biggest Hotel Chains Are Turning Their Attention to Food Waste," 6 Nov. 2019 After being discarded by United in 2014, Danny Welbeck had something to prove to the world. SI.com, "The 8 English Players Who Scored Champions League Hat-Tricks," 23 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cornerbacks Bradley Roby and Johnathan Joseph are ailing, and the Texans have had to rely on discards such as recently signed former Buccaneers first-round pick Vernon Hargreaves. BostonGlobe.com, "Given the opposition, look for Sunday to be the Patriots’ best all-around win of the season - The Boston Globe," 29 Nov. 2019 Epstein remedied this immediately, bringing in the likes of Bill Mueller, Mike Timlin, Kevin Millar, Todd Walker, and a Twins discard by the name of David Americo Ortiz in his first offseason. BostonGlobe.com, "When 28-year-old Theo Epstein was named the general manager of the Red Sox in November 2002, the mission statement was slightly but irrefutably different than what it is for 36-year-old Chaim Bloom, who was named the Red Sox’ chief baseball officer Monday.," 30 Oct. 2019 Nathan says the discard rate for a kidney with a high KDPI is in the range of 40% to 50%. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "US discards thousands of donated kidneys each year as patients die on waitlist, study says," 29 Aug. 2019 East can take the queen and shift to diamonds, but South wins and leads his jack of hearts to set up dummy’s king for a diamond discard. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: July 8, 2019," 8 July 2019 Gradually, the meaning of discard broadened to include rejection beyond card-playing. San Diego Union-Tribune, "English lays its cards on the table of our tongue," 27 July 2019 While Kellog was able to limit her trash to a jam jar, Americans on average discard 2,555 pounds of materials annually, according to a 2018 report from the Frontier Group citing a Columbia University study. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "2 years of trash in a jam jar: People striving to go 'zero-waste' say it's worth the effort," 17 July 2019 Soneva Fushi was also the first resort in the Maldives to recycle plastic on-site and collect discards from nearby islands with their Maker Programme. Katie Lockhart, National Geographic, "These luxury resorts want to save the Maldives," 5 Apr. 2019 Inside Lepe’s chabolas, the furnishings are scraps and discards, but nearly everybody has a phone. Cynthia Gorney, National Geographic, "African migrants in Europe trade one hardship for another," 25 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discard.' 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 discard


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for discard

Time Traveler

The first known use of discard was circa 1586

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Statistics for discard

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Discard.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discarded. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for discard


How to pronounce discard (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to throw (something) away because it is useless or unwanted
: to remove (a playing card) from your hand in a card game


How to pronounce discard (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

: something (such as a playing card) that has been discarded


dis·​card | \ di-ˈskärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \
discarded; discarding

Kids Definition of discard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to get rid of as useless or unwanted
2 : to throw down an unwanted card from a hand of cards


dis·​card | \ ˈdi-ˌskärd How to pronounce discard (audio) \

Kids Definition of discard (Entry 2 of 2)

: something thrown away or rejected

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More from Merriam-Webster on discard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for discard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with discard

Spanish Central: Translation of discard

Nglish: Translation of discard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of discard for Arabic Speakers

Comments on discard

What made you want to look up discard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


very cautious or careful

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