gar·​bage | \ ˈgär-bij How to pronounce garbage (audio) \

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 Then Williams came back with Tiffany’s things—a garbage bag filled with bedsheets, clothes, and more sneakers. Krithika Varagur, The New York Review of Books, "In Place of Police: The Oregon Experiment," 18 Sep. 2020 For a longer-lasting arrangement, carve out a faux pumpkin, line with a garbage bag, and drill holes for drainage. Shelby Deering, Better Homes & Gardens, "12 Festive Ways to Feature Fall Pumpkin Decor in Your Home," 10 Sep. 2020 Wet the new rhizomes, put them in a large, plastic garbage bag and place it in the shade. Dan Gill,, "It's a net gain of Louisiana irises: Divide them now, then use the pieces to create more plants," 3 Sep. 2020 Nicole’s daughters filled a garbage bag each with clothes. Nomaan Merchant, USA TODAY, "Hurricane Rita flooded his home in 2005. It survived Ike in 2008. Laura took everything.," 31 Aug. 2020 Nicole’s daughters filled a garbage bag each with clothes. Nomaan Merchant, The Christian Science Monitor, "Hurricane Laura recovery efforts begin in earnest," 30 Aug. 2020 One of the videos shows a man in a white t-shirt and baseball cap that state police have alleged was Dulos putting a black garbage bag in a city trash can and then taking a black mat and placing it against the wall of Milagro’s Restaurant. Dave Altimari,, "Attorney for Michelle Troconis seeking to remove GPS tracking says state police embellished arrests warrants in disappearance of Jennifer Farber Dulos," 24 Aug. 2020 The complaint says in the video Ryan made a statement about covering a window on Cavett’s vehicle with a garbage bag because the window was broken and damaged. Fox News, "Florida 'witch doctor' arrested in case of missing Leila Cavett whose son, 2, was found wandering alone," 17 Aug. 2020 According to an incident report from the Wauwatosa Police Department: A customer alerted Walgreens management that a man was putting masks into a garbage bag. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A man stole 1,900 face masks from a Wauwatosa Walgreens, police say," 4 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for garbage

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for garbage

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Garbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for garbage


How to pronounce garbage (audio)

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 How to pronounce garbage (audio) \

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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