left·​over | \ˈleft-ˌō-vər \

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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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

If the name stays, leftover money not spent on the campaign will go to the school. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Tribute or racial slur: Is it time for schools to give up Native American mascots?," 11 June 2018 Both fresh and smoked kielbasa come crisscrossed atop a pile of bigos, Poland’s national dish made of stewed sauerkraut, cabbage and leftover chunks of meat. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Review: Polka serves some of metro Detroit's best Polish food, in Troy," 25 Apr. 2018 One unanswered question is what will happen to the leftover money. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "John Bolton to Exit Politics Ahead of White House Job," 30 Mar. 2018 Alspach said the conservancy hopes to keep construction costs below $20 million, with any leftover money going toward a maintenance endowment. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "Russian Hill park expected on abandoned reservoir," 14 Mar. 2018 Specifically, lagom adherents never let good leftovers go to waste. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, SELF, "The 8 Best Lessons I Learned Living the Lagom Life," 31 Oct. 2018 After a large star goes supernova, the leftover material is typically a neutron star. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Cosmic Oddity Challenges What We Know About Pulsars," 19 Sep. 2018 Any leftover can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "Recipe: Tawla’s Fattoush," 3 July 2018 Vallas said the program would be funded in part by development fees, federal and state grants and leftovers from tax increment financing districts. Michael Hawthorne, chicagotribune.com, "Vallas promises lead water pipe fix, slams Emanuel for inaction," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Of the 500 quarries in the United States, some look obviously dangerous (abandoned mines containing leftover construction equipment and machinery, for instance) but others resemble scenic lakes surrounded by cliffs. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Woman's Day, "Mom Warns About the Hidden Dangers of Jumping into Quarries After Losing Son," 1 Aug. 2016 Now, from Atelier & Repairs’ Los Angeles workshop, a small team of specialists uses vintage and leftover fabrics to restore and embellish abandoned garments from chinos to chore jackets. Isaiah Freeman-schub, WSJ, "Each of These Tapestries Takes At Least 70 Hours to Make," 26 Oct. 2018 From a recycling program for your favorite hair gel to free products for frequent shoppers, here are five alternatives to throwing out your leftover beauty products. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "5 Ways to Recycle Your Makeup," 26 Oct. 2018 Desperate, Broussard took leftover antibiotics from a friend of a friend. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Meet Virginians who would be helped by a Medicaid expansion," 21 May 2018 For filling: Cut leftover steak into thin slices and then into halves. Atlanta Life, ajc, "7 day menu planner," 16 Mar. 2018 The pump snaps and leftover fuel from inside the hose sprays everywhere, the video shows. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Gas pump ripped out by van sprays Lamborghini, which bursts into flames," 10 July 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

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

leftovers : 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 \

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

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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