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 State officials feel the fish cleaning stations would provide a necessary service for anglers, and prevent fish waste being dumped into garbage cans or the nearby water. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 8 July 2021 Grande and Davis decided a nail salon would be an ideal setting for portions of the video’s Legally Blonde tribute and quickly went about building an identical set filled with the same hair-dryers, garbage cans, and paintings. Jake Kring-schreifels, Vulture, 8 July 2021 Wildlife managers have sought to lessen the hazards with campaigns encouraging people who live near grizzlies to install bear-resistant garbage cans so the animals don't come looking for human food scraps. CBS News, 7 July 2021 Black bears, the smallest of the bunch, usually dwell in forested areas, but are also more likely to wander into town or pick through garbage cans. Bailey Berg, Anchorage Daily News, 28 June 2021 Bring in patio furniture, garbage cans and other loose objects and anchor anything else down. David Fleshler,, 26 May 2021 Residents should also limit the availability of food sources such as pet food, bird food, fruit from backyard trees and trash in unsecured garbage cans. Brian L. Cox,, 25 May 2021 Realizing that their garbage cans had been picked up earlier that morning, Pam's husband Chuck took off running after their local sanitation workers. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 5 May 2021 Protesters threw bottles and rocks at officers, and burned garbage cans and wooden pallets in the streets. Time, 2 May 2021

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

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Garbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on garbage

Nglish: Translation of garbage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of garbage for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about garbage


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