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

end, fag end, oddment, remainder, remnant, scrap, stub

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Examples of leftover in a Sentence


Are we having leftovers again? The law is a leftover from earlier times.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Each item is one-of-a-kind and creates nearly zero waste (leftover fabric is often turned into scrunchies). Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Rosie LaJaguara Is the Artist Making “Shirt Poetry”," 6 June 2019 These sleek glass casserole dishes make even leftovers feel restaurant-worthy. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "18 Pieces from Walmart’s New MoDRN Collection That’ll Upgrade Every Room in Your Home," 20 May 2019 Everything is baked fresh daily, with end-of-day leftovers distributed to three charitable organizations. Allen Pierleoni, sacbee, "'Estelle 2.0' culminates lifelong dream for Sacramento baker," 30 June 2018 The reason scientists were able to gather this much information about an event that predates our own planet is thanks to the leftover materials from the explosion. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Two Neutron Stars Exploded in Our Cosmic Backyard Billions of Years Ago," 3 May 2019 Make any leftover matzo disappear with a delicious and cheesy spin on lasagna. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Cheesy Baked Spinach and Feta Casserole," 7 Mar. 2019 Check out these pie suggestions from the Test Kitchen: How long does leftover pizza last? Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Reheat Pizza, Whether It's One Slice or a Whole Pie," 27 Feb. 2019 Except the bodies in the Kuiper Belt are thought to be incredibly primitive — leftover remnants from the birth of the Solar System. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 Store leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container and smear it on your next roast beef or turkey sandwich. Claire Perez, Sun-Sentinel.com, "How to make your own aioli sauce," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Kim Sunée has a new recipe this week for an easy one that uses leftover salmon and fried capers. Julia O'malley, Anchorage Daily News, "How Alaska eats: Tons of local seafood pasta-bilities," 7 June 2019 Top leftover pasta with bread crumbs and a drizzle of oil. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "How to Cook Anything with a Torch," 8 Feb. 2019 In the other case, dead alien microbes are decomposing and their leftover organic material is floating to the surface. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Saturn's Moon Enceladus Is Spewing Complex Organic Molecules Into Space," 27 June 2018 For her entrance look, Trinity paired the ensemble with a choker and fiberglass earrings, making a bracelet from leftover zip tie material just before walking into the workroom herself. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "From Runway to Red Carpet to RuPaul’s Drag Race: How Trinity The Tuck Paid Homage to Sarah Paulson’s Prada Look," 13 Dec. 2018 Carve 2 oval eyes, then cut 2 smaller circles from leftover rind for pupils. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "50+ Creative Pumpkin Carving Ideas for Halloween," 25 July 2018 And if the child tax credit reduces your tax bill to zero, the IRS may even send you up to $1,400 of that leftover credit per child , Harrison notes. Tina Orem, The Seattle Times, "How to make the most of the child tax credit this year," 28 Nov. 2018 Well, the rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has mostly subsided, but there are still a handful of leftover offers worth noting. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: Get a $100 Apple App Store and iTunes gift card for $85," 28 Nov. 2018 Between leftover makeup and dead skin cells, our pillowcases collect a lot more gunk than any of us would like to think. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "14 Glamour Editors on the Skin Care Tips That Changed Their Complexions," 9 Oct. 2018

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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Statistics for leftover

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for leftover

The first known use of leftover was in 1864

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More Definitions for leftover



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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More from Merriam-Webster on leftover

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leftover

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leftover

Spanish Central: Translation of leftover

Nglish: Translation of leftover for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leftover for Arabic Speakers

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