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 Pour any leftover liquid in the bowl over the top of the gratin. Christian Reynoso, SFChronicle.com, "Cooking with legendary Bay Area drag queen helped me see beauty in community," 25 June 2020 The star is surrounded by a disk of gas and dust debris, the leftover remnants of when the star formed. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Neptune-size exoplanet found zooming around nearby young star," 24 June 2020 During a search of the vehicle, police found marijuana inside a paper bag, which also contained garbage and leftover food. John Benson, cleveland, "Boyfriend breaks window after being locked out: Seven Hills Police Blotter," 24 June 2020 Lesser grades of briskets are more than OK, too, especially when the trimmings are transformed into carne guisada, which is my preferred way to use the leftover meat. Chuck Blount, ExpressNews.com, "Chuck’s Food Shack: Turn those rib, brisket trimmings into good eats," 22 June 2020 On the menu is a leftover salad featuring everything in my crisper drawer, including a sad-looking rutabaga. Lauren Ashcraft, refinery29.com, "I’m A Comedian, DSA Member & I Have Anxiety. I’m Running For Congress.," 12 June 2020 In such a scenario, Hong Kong would become a purely Chinese financial centre, with only a small leftover of talent that might do some grey market deals in the international arena. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Hong Kong’s future as a financial hub is being torn between Washington and Beijing," 11 June 2020 Durkee Famous Sauce, above all, is known to be a darn delicious sandwich spread, with many folks using it yearly to accessorize the quintessential post-Thanksgiving leftover turkey sandwich. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "I Grew Up Watching My Grandmother Sneak Durkees Into the Deviled Eggs—And I'll Always Do the Same," 11 June 2020 The church pooled money from from virtual collection plates and used leftover funds from a capital campaign, bequests and an annual missions drive, Senior Pastor David Swanson said. USA TODAY, "Fest cancellations, mixed-up results, unemployment slowdown: News from around our 50 states," 5 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The flash came from an astrophysical object called a magnetar, an ultramagnetic type of neutron star, the leftover core of an aging star. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "A Mysterious Rhythm Is Coming From Another Galaxy," 26 June 2020 Emily from Gathered & Glazed used large and small cookie cutters to cut the stars from leftover crust before layering them on top of the blueberry filling. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 Patriotic Pies on Instagram You've Got to See to Believe," 25 June 2020 Bendt has now returned to whiskey production, while also selling some of its leftover hand sanitizer to the general public. Tom Benning, Dallas News, "This Lewisville distillery shows why Congress put small businesses at forefront of coronavirus relief," 18 June 2020 Instead of a standard welcome greeting or a leftover message a previous guest never retrieved, the voicemail from a hotel employee was about cleanliness. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "3 nights, 3 hotels: What it's really like to stay in a hotel during the coronavirus pandemic," 14 June 2020 Freeze Herbs for a Burst of Flavor in Your Dishes Before leftover herbs can start to turn bad, blend them in some olive oil and freeze them in ice cube trays ($15, Crate & Barrel). Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Don't Toss That Cheese Rind! Here Are 12 Ways to Repurpose Food Scraps," 19 May 2020 Meteors are mostly leftover particles from comets about the size of a grain of sand. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "When to see the 2020 Lyrids meteor shower," 20 Apr. 2020 The Paycheck Protection Program loans were designed to give businesses with fewer than 500 employees loans to support eight weeks of payroll, while allowing businesses to use leftover funds on mortgage interest, rent and utilities. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon businesses receive more than $3 billion in second round of coronavirus rescue loans," 6 May 2020 Similarly, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have donated leftover food that would have been served on board. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "United Airlines Matching Donations in Miles to Coronavirus Relief Charities on Giving Tuesday," 5 May 2020

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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leftover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leftover. Accessed 11 Jul. 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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