dis·pos·able | \di-ˈspō-zə-bəl \

Definition of disposable 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : subject to or available for disposal specifically : remaining to an individual after deduction of taxes and necessary living expenses disposable income

2 : designed to be used once or only a limited number of times and then thrown away disposable diapers Replace the disposable razor when the blade becomes dull.



Definition of disposable (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is disposable

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Other Words from disposable


disposability \-ˌspō-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē \ noun

Examples of disposable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

He and and Bryce Dallas Howard are back, running, running, making eyes, making the best of their semi-disposable plot machines disguised as characters, and generally lightening a heavy digital effects load. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' review: Raptors delight while humans make a mess of things," 20 June 2018 For example, manufacturing a disposable paper cup requires at least 20% more fossil fuel and almost 50% more electricity than a styrofoam cup does. Camille Harmer, Fortune, "How Banning Plastic Straws Could Make Pollution Even Worse," 12 July 2018 Those common cups were condemned as a source of much death and disease in American cities, but disposable cups were incredibly expensive at the time. Emelyn Rude, Time, "The Backlash Against Plastic Straws Is Spreading. Here’s How They Got So Popular in the First Place," 12 July 2018 In March, for example, the company announced a $10 million challenge to design a disposable coffee cup that is compostable. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Starbucks to scrap plastic straws globally by 2020," 9 July 2018 Another features the family seated at a picnic table covered with brown paper and disposable cups, staring at the camera while leaning toward a pile of soon-to-be devoured crabs. Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Washington Post, "‘All gone in the blink of an eye’: Woman survives crash that killed her husband and 4 daughters," 8 July 2018 Simplify by stashing away some tree-free paper plates, disposable cutlery and party cups for your next can't-do-it-all-tonight night. Kroger, The Courier-Journal, "School's out for summer! Now what? Simplify with these 6 tips for parents," 18 June 2018 Berkeley officials are considering a broader waste-reduction ordinance that would put a 25-cent surcharge on disposable cups and containers, and make paper straws free upon request. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF to consider banning plastic straws," 15 May 2018 Soda, water and iced coffee come in disposable plastic cups; plastic bags are handed out with even the smallest purchase. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Even the Deepest Parts of the Ocean Are Polluted With Startling Amounts of Plastic," 11 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ditch disposables Instead of single-use items, choose their counterparts that your great-grandparents would have used like cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, dishrags and dishtowels, and real cutlery and flatware. Mandy Ferreira, Good Housekeeping, "17 Ways To Produce Less Trash And Save Money—According To Zero Wasters," 12 July 2017 Studies estimate that one-quarter of all waste produced in California is from single-use food and beverage disposables, which reportedly can take centuries to decompose. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "California city wants to charge for every disposable takeout container," 26 Apr. 2018 Advocates of the Berkeley proposal point to studies that estimate one-quarter of all waste produced in California is from single-use food and beverage disposables. Kimberly Veklerov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Berkeley may slap charge on disposable food containers," 25 Apr. 2018 For meetings, the firm uses real dishes instead of disposables. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "Going green isn't just for the Eagles: Area workplaces embrace sustainability," 15 Mar. 2018 Yelchin mainly worked in portraiture, and always used film, whether with disposables or his Leica. Kenzie Bryant, Vanities, "Meet Anton Yelchin, Photographer," 15 Dec. 2017 Before Kotex sanitary napkins hit the market in 1921, most women relied on homemade cloth pads (although some storemade cloth pads and disposables had been on offer since the late 1880s.) Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "The Surprising Origins of Kotex Pads," 11 Aug. 2017 Enamelware, stainless steel and bamboo make great substitutes for disposables. Jackie Burrell, The Mercury News, "Ashley English’s 5 tips for awesome picnics," 9 June 2017 While older, the F-16s have the advantage of being cheaper to fly and semi-disposable. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Turned an F-16 Fighter Into a Drone," 11 Apr. 2017

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


1643, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1963, in the meaning defined above

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Phrases Related to disposable

disposable income

Statistics for disposable

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for disposable

The first known use of disposable was in 1643

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More Definitions for disposable



English Language Learners Definition of disposable

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: made to be used once or only a few times : made to be thrown away after one use or several uses

: available to be used



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

: something that is made to be thrown away after it is used once


dis·pos·able | \dis-ˈpō-zə-bəl \

Kids Definition of disposable

: made to be thrown away after use disposable diapers

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