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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web And there’s also $1 billion for communities to invest in clean versions of heavy-duty vehicles like buses and garbage trucks. Van Jones, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 The city government is building new schools, roads and parks, funding jobs programs and sending garbage trucks through the hilly streets. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 29 July 2022 This is an exciting mix of clean vehicles and related technologies: trucks of all classes, buses, forklifts, logistics vehicles, garbage trucks, trailers, alternative fuels, and relevant part suppliers. David Blekhman, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Clearing the area would require removing 100 garbage trucks’ worth of trash by hand over a grueling two-year period. Siobhan Reid, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2022 Rob Nikolewski also wrote about the growing electric truck business, including garbage trucks. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2022 This year, New York City plans to purchase another 1,084 all-electric vehicles, including 148 Ford Mustang Mach-E police patrol cars and seven more electric Mack garbage trucks. New York Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Major cities like Detroit and New York donated firetrucks and garbage trucks. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 31 Mar. 2022 Starting as soon as next week the city of Cincinnati is launching a plan for a greener fleet – police cars, fire engines and garbage trucks included. Sharon Coolidge, The Enquirer, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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garbage can

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Garbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for garbage


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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