dis·​pos·​able | \ di-ˈspō-zə-bəl How to pronounce disposable (audio) \

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 How to pronounce disposability (audio) \ noun

Examples of disposable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

As a result, the assumption is that any woman who chooses to get married is part of a homogenous clump of straight, white people, presumably with piles of disposable income. Kaye Toal, SELF, "I'm Fat and I'm Not Going to Lose Weight for My Wedding," 1 Mar. 2019 Bernadette has a seemingly endless supply of disposable income, which is matched by her inability to get anything done. Mickey Rapkin, Town & Country, "How Does a Virtual Personal Assistant Work, Anyway?," 28 Feb. 2019 Aldous started off by coating a disposable spoolie brush like the J.Cat Beauty Disposable Silicone Mascara Wand in soap from a wet bar. Devon Abelman, Allure, "These Gorgeous Glittery Soap Eyebrows Are Being Confused for an Instagram Filter," 16 Mar. 2018 Make sure the artist opens the needle package in front of you, uses a new, disposable ink cup, and wears clean gloves throughout the process. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "21 Things You Should Know Before Getting Your First Tattoo," 2 Aug. 2018 Yet Solo is different, sort of an evolutionary step between those trends, not quite a keeper, not quite disposable. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "That red plastic cup is a Chicago original. Proceed to party.," 29 June 2018 Consumer spending isn’t collapsing—real per capita urban disposable income for 2018 was up 6.5% on the year, against 6.6% in the first quarter, and per capita expenditures actually accelerated. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Why Old-School Chinese Stimulus Won’t Help," 21 Jan. 2019 But skip the disposable plastic straws which are flimsy and, of course, not good for the planet. Sally Tamarkin, SELF, "22 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Every Day," 3 Jan. 2019 Those disposable 3-cent imitation tools are meant for people who've just had their Pop-a-Shot delivered to Disappointment Island in the South Pacific and don't have any other tools. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "Please Never Ever Assemble Something With the Tools That Came With It," 31 Dec. 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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Statistics for disposable

Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

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
somewhat formal : 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 How to pronounce disposable (audio) \

Kids Definition of disposable

: made to be thrown away after use disposable diapers

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More from Merriam-Webster on disposable

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with disposable

Spanish Central: Translation of disposable

Nglish: Translation of disposable for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of disposable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on disposable

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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