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

Traditionally made with leftovers or lesser cuts of meats such as pigs’ trotters, the dish today has many variations. Catherine M. Allchin, The Seattle Times, "Packed with flavor and prettily potted, the traditional Alsatian stew baeckeoffe is rich wintertime comfort," 11 Dec. 2018 Tuck the leftover piece of the shirt into a strip to serve as the belt. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "How to Make a Moana Costume for Halloween," 1 Aug. 2018 Whiskertin originated when Novak, who had been in the heating, venting and air conditioning business for two decades, saw a leftover piece of pipe and wanted to upcycle it into a light fixture. Nikki Delamotte, cleveland.com, "Akron's Whiskertin Lighting opens new showroom (photos)," 11 Apr. 2018 Homeland Security agents tested leftovers pieces of the cheesecake and confirmed it was laced with phenazepam, authorities said. CBS News, "Woman accused of poisoning look-alike with cheesecake," 28 Feb. 2018 Cook one on high, make another on low, and even re-heat leftovers in the other—all at the same time. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "This Triple Slow Cooker Is Here to Save Your Holidays—And It's Only $40 on Amazon," 6 Nov. 2018 Solve both problems by dividing your leftovers into single-serve portions and freezing them in storage containers or bags, suggests Molly Devine, RD, founder of Eat Your Keto and advisor to KetoLogic. Krissy Brady, Health.com, "9 Ways to Make Healthier Food Choices—Even When You're Exhausted," 21 June 2018 On a subsequent Friday, Meghan showed up with her own leftovers. Meghan Markle, Fox News, "Meghan Markle's 'humble' pre-Hollywood beginnings revealed," 9 May 2018 The crows are bringing all your leftovers to my bird baths for soaking. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "At SFMOMA Modern Ball statements are made," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 And there are few restrictions on how leftover funds are used. Fredreka Schouten, USA TODAY, "A record $107 million was raised for Trump’s inauguration. So where did it all go? No one will say.," 18 Jan. 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

16 Apr 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

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).


having no equal

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