gar·​bage | \ ˈgär-bij \

Definition of garbage

1a : food waste
b : discarded or useless material
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

Clean your garbage disposal Notice a lingering stink? Rebecca Deczynski, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make Your House Smell Good Instantly," 9 Nov. 2018 If quicksand met a garbage disposal branded by Slip 'N Slide, that'd be my eyelids. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "My Eyeshadow Wouldn’t Last an Hour Without Fenty’s Primer," 27 July 2018 Duluth’s recent Community Clean-Up Day had over 1,000 vehicles drive through bringing items not normally allowed in general garbage disposal. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Duluth declares clean-up day success," 11 July 2018 There's a shortage of garbage disposal places, so people throw it directly into the ocean. Mario J. Pentón, miamiherald, "Pollution is destroying the environment and livelihood for residents in this Cuban city," 7 June 2018 Its 170 apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, many of which offer sweeping views across low-slung blocks, include kitchens with Caesarstone counters, under-cabinet lighting and garbage disposals. New York Times, "New Rentals Coming to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens," 25 May 2018 The team started by engineering the cells to produce a nanobody that, on its nonbinding end, carried molecules that direct proteins to the cell's garbage disposal. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Mini-antibodies discovered in sharks and camels could lead to drugs for cancer and other diseases," 10 May 2018 The new service comes about 16 months after the city approved a five-year, $7.7 million contract with Rumpke Waste & Recycling in Colerain, Ohio, for garbage disposal and recycling services. Joseph Clark,, "Driver found to have suspended license: Olmsted Township police blotter," 7 May 2018 Primarily, the scientists caught the mice in or around garbage disposal areas in sub-basements, though five mice were trapped in food preparation/storage areas of a commercial building, and a single mouse was imprisoned in a private apartment. Susan Scutti, CNN, "New viruses, superbugs found in study of New York house mice," 17 Apr. 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

19 Feb 2019

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
informal : 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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Comments on garbage

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excited commotion or publicity

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