left·​over | \ ˈleft-ˌō-vər How to pronounce leftover (audio) \

Definition of leftover

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that remains unused or unconsumed especially : leftover food served at a later meal usually used in plural
2 : an anachronistic survival : vestige



Definition of leftover (Entry 2 of 2)

: not consumed or used leftover food leftover space

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Synonyms for leftover

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of leftover in a Sentence

Noun Are we having leftovers again? The law is a leftover from earlier times.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Still, holding the leftovers of a snow leopard meal is the single coolest thing about the trip so far. Washington Post, "How a lifelong obsession with snow leopards led me to northern India," 10 Jan. 2020 And making bone broth from scratch with the leftovers of your blowout holiday prime rib helps, at least a tiny bit, with the severe problem of food waste in this country. Melissa Clark, New York Times, "The Meat-Lover’s Guide to Eating Less Meat," 31 Dec. 2019 The leftovers are turned into another classic dish called pan con pavo, which consists of French-style bread rolls spread with mayo and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, watercress, curtido (fermented cabbage), turkey and drippings of the same sauce. Leilani Marie Labong, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area chef welcomes pavo borracho, or drunken turkey, to Christmas table," 20 Dec. 2019 Written for the big screen by playwright Tracy Letts, who also costars in the film, Woman in the Window is one of the leftover 20th Century Fox projects delayed during Disney’s acquisition of the movie-making company in March. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Amy Adams Stars as Julianne Moore’s Terrified Agoraphobic Neighbor in Thrilling Woman in the Window First Trailer," 19 Dec. 2019 This North-African-inspired supper packs a punch of protein, and makes for great lunch leftovers too! Heat broiler. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Moroccan Meatballs with Roasted Tomatoes and Chickpeas," 10 Dec. 2019 Tupperware is trying to get recognized beyond just being storage for leftovers. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Tupperware goes high-end with $25 straws and $15 apple savers," 4 Dec. 2019 Or try it as part of the stand’s popular rice bowl option, which can easily leave you with leftovers for dinner. Christina Tkacik, baltimoresun.com, "12 things to try at Baltimore’s revamped Cross Street Market," 8 Oct. 2019 On the last day of May, Fost steps off the street and onto the wooden floor boards at Montage, a 26-year-old restaurant known for its servers in lab coats, its late (all-ages) hours and the fanciful aluminum foil animals fashioned for leftovers. Michael Russell, oregonlive.com, "How restaurant inspectors determine which Portland kitchens pass – and fail – their inspections," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Between us was a plate of leftover Christmas cookies. Nancy Shohet West, BostonGlobe.com, "A year preserved in pictures, but where’s the rest of the story?," 17 Jan. 2020 Cook with them once, and there are always leftover peppers. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "6 Things to Do With a Can of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce," 14 Jan. 2020 Cheesy Pasta Shells With Butternut Squash Got leftover butternut squash? Grant Butler, oregonlive, "35 Thanksgiving leftovers recipes that turn turkey and all the trimmings into something new," 28 Nov. 2019 The Quadrantid meteor shower occurs every year during early January, as leftover comet particles and broken asteroid pieces come around the sun and emit a dusty trail for the Earth to pass through. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "The Quadrantid meteor shower will light up the sky this weekend. Here's how to watch.," 2 Jan. 2020 The custom arose because servants, who would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, were allowed to visit their families the next day and employers would give them boxes to take home containing gifts, bonuses and, sometimes, leftover food. Editors, USA TODAY, "Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, holiday travel: 5 things you need to know Thursday," 26 Dec. 2019 While Jones, Carr-Ellison and their families stroll, leftover turkey will boiling on the hob. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "A Recipe for Boxing Day Ramen, From the Women Behind London’s Coolest New Restaurant," 24 Dec. 2019 The Cordon Bleu Magazine suggested repurposing leftover pheasant in a way that required an hour of boiling in fine demi-glace and two hours of cooling on ice, before being pureed by hand, seasoned, molded and fried. Samantha Presnal, Quartzy, "Thanksgiving leftovers can be an outlet for creativity," 29 Nov. 2019 Gilbert stood in a Gampel Pavilion weight room, addressing the media and shedding any leftover heavy baggage, after pushing UConn to an 80-62 victory over Iona. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Alterique Gilbert has resurfaced from a Charleston Classic ‘hole’ with the help of his UConn teammates," 5 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leftover.' 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 leftover


1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1864, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for leftover

Time Traveler

The first known use of leftover was in 1864

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Statistics for leftover

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leftover.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leftover. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for leftover


How to pronounce leftover (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of leftover

: food that has not been finished at a meal and that is often served at another meal
: a thing that remains after something is finished or ended


left·​over | \ ˈleft-ˌō-vər How to pronounce leftover (audio) \

Kids Definition of leftover

: something (as food) left over We had leftovers for supper.

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Comments on leftover

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


a feeling of well-being or elation

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