dumpster diving

noun

variants or Dumpster diving
: the practice of searching through public trash receptacles for edible food or discarded items that retain some use or value
When he talks about his experiment in dumpster diving, Ferrell emphasizes that he had advantages that most people who scrounge for a living do not—his own house, a pickup truck, and a wife with a job.Tom Bartlett
Today, Mr. Jones … subsists by Dumpster diving, doing odd jobs and, when he sees the opportunity, scavenging scrap metal.John Eligon
… a freegan is a person who has decided to boycott capitalist society by severely curtailing consumption of resources through reusing, recycling and Dumpster diving.Raina Kelley
In Boulder, an affluent town of 96,700, where houses are demolished to make way for mansions, Dumpster diving for building supplies may have found its cultural moment.Hillary Rosner
dumpster diver noun
or Dumpster diver
As my trash pile got larger, I turned around and she was sorting through the trash like you might see a dumpster diver in the inner city. Collins Doughtie
As avid flea market and yard sale goers, eBay addicts, and Dumpster divers, we have always ended up with extra furniture. Martha Stewart Living

Examples of dumpster diving in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s why black bears are often caught dumpster diving and raiding backyard bird feeders. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 16 Aug. 2023 Fernandez recalls dumpster diving for cans and bottles that could be redeemed for deposits. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 14 July 2023 His dumpster diving partner was performing ballet pirouettes and graceful leaps in the parking lot. Matt Kempner, ajc, 22 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dumpster diving.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1983, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dumpster diving was in 1983

Dictionary Entries Near dumpster diving

Cite this Entry

“Dumpster diving.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dumpster%20diving. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!