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

The authority services all parcels for disposal and processing of residential garbage, recyclables, yard waste and bulk waste. Brooke Baitinger,, "Fuming over ‘gigantic’ 96-gallon trash cans in Palm Beach County? So are your neighbors.," 16 Sep. 2019 Dozens of volunteers gathered near her home on North Fulton Avenue and started bagging garbage and weeding, too. Christine Condon,, "After Trump’s tweets, conservative activist leads neighborhood cleanup in West Baltimore," 5 Aug. 2019 Climbers also shouldn’t leave any garbage, or their waste, behind. Apa Sherpa, The New Republic, "I’ve Climbed Everest 21 Times. It’s not the Mountain It Used to Be.," 18 June 2019 Before a garbage-time score by the Bengals, the defense had held the hosts to 255 yards and 3.9 yards per play. Albert Breer,, "Brees and Big Ben Concerns, the Ryan-Julio Hookup, Dak’s Magic and Poised Josh Allen: Week 2 in the NFL," 16 Sep. 2019 His humble tools—a wooden kitchen spoon, an aluminum stepladder, and a green plastic garbage pail—now have a new home at the museum. Theresa Mcculla, Smithsonian, "Here’s What’s Brewing in the New Smithsonian Beer Collections," 16 Sep. 2019 Robbie Gould made all five extra points, along with field goals of 33 and 38 yards, but also missed a 39-yard attempt in garbage time. Eric Branch,, "49ers game grades vs. Bengals: Garoppolo and offense sizzle, defense overwhelms," 15 Sep. 2019 As Gurley sat on the grass after diving into the corner of the end zone, he was given the sort of heartfelt reception usually reserved for a garbage-time basket by the last kid on the bench. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Todd Gurley’s new normal is a reduced workload. Should Rams fans be concerned?," 15 Sep. 2019 Gus worked as a garbage collector; Edna as a domestic worker., "But it was through his own work, as a youth counselor, preacher, state representative, and Parole Board member, that the Rev. Haynes made his deepest imprint, shaping and guiding generations of young people struggling to overcome poverty and racial discrimination.," 14 Sep. 2019

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 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 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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Comments on garbage

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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