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

The two are not stuck to each other like old leftovers at the back of your fridge, though. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Cloud-based quantum computer takes on deuteron and wins," 30 May 2018 The discharge of what are called tailings, the leftovers of mineral extraction, is perfectly legal under Freeport’s current contract with the government. Danielle Bochove, Bloomberg.com, "Giant Waste-Spewing Mine Turns Into a Battleground in Indonesia," 5 June 2018 Kniess may just have enough money leftover from his lottery winnings to buy a replacement helicopter, although that may be pushing Lady Luck a little too far. Melissa Locker, Time, "Some Guys Have All the Luck. Lottery Winner Survives Helicopter Crash on His Front Yard," 3 May 2018 The only element of flashiness, a gold necklace, looked more like a leftover from the night before than a purposeful style flex. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "Donald Glover's Airport Style is as Chill as it Gets (and Cheap Too)," 1 Feb. 2018 The next morning, when the leftover pizza was gone, Jennifer accused the children of stealing it. Joe Heim And Julie Tate, chicagotribune.com, "As children begged for help, adoption system failed them," 13 July 2018 Everyone dumps their leftover scallop shells and pork bones onto the big platter at the center of the table, but the whiskey isn’t done yet and there’s some prawns left to go. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 The next morning, when the leftover pizza was gone, Jennifer accused the children of stealing it. Washington Post, "Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children," 12 July 2018 The next morning, when the leftover pizza was gone, Jennifer accused the children of stealing it. Joe Heim And Julie Tate, Houston Chronicle, "As Hart children begged for help, system failed them," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 And while teams may have leftover cap accounting issues, there are rarely financial consequences to severing a contract. Andrew Brandt, SI.com, "How NFL and NBA Contracts Differ, and What NFL Players Can Do to Change It," 10 July 2018 Steel from leftover ships and tanks was melted down in enormous furnaces to be reused in bridges and beer cans. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 To use leftover grains, substitute 2 1/2 cups in place of the 2/3 cup listed here. Emily Horton, charlotteobserver, "Four steps to making a great grain salad, every time," 19 June 2018 Here's a mix of recipes for leftover ham that won't seem so leftover. Debbi Snook, cleveland.com, "Leftover Easter ham recipes: Soup, salad, stir fry, ham loaf," 28 Mar. 2018 While it was considered a weak storm system, Rasch said leftover clouds from Fabio have traveled north, keeping temperatures cooler in the Sacramento area and increasing humidity levels by 10 to 15 percent. Cassie Dickman, sacbee, "Why was Sacramento suddenly cloudy this morning? Blame Fabio, weather experts say," 6 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

15 Oct 2018

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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

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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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).


not any or not one

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