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 Three innings later, Jansen, still seeking to discover consistency before October, smoothly discarded the Orioles in order to provide another bright spot on a night mired with dejection. Los Angeles Times, "Rich Hill exits early with a knee injury in Dodgers’ victory over Baltimore," 12 Sep. 2019 Cleveland police officers found the bags and items discarded in a nearby backyard. Kaylee Remington, cleveland.com, "Burglary reported at home of Cleveland cop accused of recording himself urinating on 12-year-old girl," 23 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, investigators received a phone call from someone who found a silver handgun wrapped in a black hoodie jacket discarded on their front lawn on Southwest 74th Avenue, close to where the Nissan was found. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Half-naked woman beaten at gunpoint leads deputies to her attacker, investigators say," 22 Aug. 2019 In cities like Seattle and Dallas, stray bikes have been spotted perched in a tree or discarded in a lake. New York Times, "New Era for Bike-Share in New York: Dockless and Electric Bikes," 3 July 2018 Many of the needles wind up discarded on city streets, in parks and at homeless encampments. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why San Francisco is stuck with a deluge of needles," 30 May 2018 Today, elite universities—by insisting that excellence requires exclusivity—have assumed the aristocratic mantle that Europe has since discarded, only now with a meritocratic twist. Daniel Markovits, Time, "American Universities Must Choose: Do they Want to be Equal or Elite?," 12 Sep. 2019 Surveillance footage showed Dulos and Troconis discarding items that had Jennifer Dulos' blood on them. NBC News, "Girlfriend of Connecticut man arrested in case of his missing wife surrenders to police," 5 Sep. 2019 When West follows twice and then discards, Cy has a complete count: West’s pattern was 2-2-2-7. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: Sept. 1, 2019," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 When dummy has advertised a side suit, as in North-South’s auction, West should lead aggressively, hoping to set up winners before declarer uses dummy’s suit for discards. Frank Stewart, The Mercury News, "Bridge: June 18, 2019," 18 June 2019 The only difference being that creatures, enchantments, and artifacts stay on the playing field whereas sorceries and instants are placed in your discard pile, also known as your graveyard, after casting their one-time effect. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "How to Play 'Magic: The Gathering': Everything You Need to Know," 19 Feb. 2019 That’s when Rachel throws out the eight of bamboo as a discard — folding her winning hand, knowing that Eleanor will pick it up and declare victory. Jeff Yang, Vox, "The symbolism of Crazy Rich Asians’ pivotal mahjong scene, explained," 20 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for discard

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for discard

The first known use of discard was circa 1586

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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

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to speed up the process or progress of

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