gar·bage | \ˈgär-bij \

Definition of garbage 

1a : food waste

b : discarded or useless material

2a : trash sense 1b

b : inaccurate or useless data

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Examples of garbage in a Sentence

The park was littered with garbage. Please take out the garbage. Raccoons were going through the garbage. Throw the can in the garbage. If you ask me, what he said is a bunch of garbage.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Sufferers report smelling hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), bad perfume, garbage, a gas leak, wet dog, pungent body odor or spoiled fish or feces. NBC News, "Phantom smells may be a sign of trouble," 10 July 2018 Planetary Protection only looks at life; its policies don’t say anything about pollution, or garbage, or crummy Mars colony architecture. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "In Search of New Rules to Protect Other Worlds From Earth's Cooties," 2 July 2018 The other is to keep food sources such as garbage, pet food and bird feeders out of their reach. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "A bear spooked shoppers in Charlotte. It's the latest in a string of sightings.," 27 June 2018 Graffiti kids, groupies, celebrities, and, not least, drug buddies—people came day and night and found a space strewed with art, garbage, toys, magazines, books. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 The ban is part of a larger crackdown on foreign garbage, which is viewed as a threat to health and environment. Patrick Whittle, The Christian Science Monitor, "Plastic waste piles up globally due to China import ban," 21 June 2018 Every week, firefighters visit the house to take out the garbage, mow the lawn, run errands. Peter Rowe,, "Father's Day without a hero dad: how a widow makes her late husband present to their young daughters," 17 June 2018 Don’t put them in the regular garbage, which is typically crushed and shredded. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Cell phones thrown in the trash are exploding, causing 5-alarm fires in garbage trunks," 18 May 2018 Crews are removing garbage, fallen trees and invasive species as part of efforts to address flooding and drainage issues villagewide, Niemotka said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "Improvements planned for Y-shaped Beach Park intersection with history of fatal crashes," 3 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for garbage

Middle English, "poultry organs and body parts used for food, poultry refuse," borrowed from Anglo-French *garbage (implied in sergant garbagere "kitchen servant tasked with plucking and cleaning poultry"), of obscure origin

Note: On morphological, semantic, or chronological grounds unlikely to be related to Anglo-French garbeler, Middle English garbelen "to remove (impurities) from spices" (see garble entry 1) or to Middle French gaburge, grabuge "quarrel, brawl." The Anglo-French collocation sergant garbagere indicates currency of the word as early as 1318 (Household Ordinances of Edward II).

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Statistics for garbage

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for garbage

The first known use of garbage was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for garbage



English Language Learners Definition of garbage

: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown out

: a container where people put things that are being thrown out

: something that is worthless, unimportant, or of poor quality


gar·bage | \ˈgär-bij \

Kids Definition of garbage

1 : material (as waste food) that has been thrown out

2 : something that is worthless, useless, or untrue Don't watch garbage on television.

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