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 The ancient Indian text The Vedas advises giving leftovers to scavengers, including stray dogs, as part of being a good householder. National Geographic, "Stray dogs have the natural ability to understand human gestures," 17 Jan. 2020 Be sure to save any leftovers — these noodles are just as good served cold or at room temperature, notes Wolf. NBC News, "Cheaper, healthier versions of your favorite takeout noodle dishes," 17 Jan. 2020 Use any leftovers to scrub hands or elbows, or store in an airtight container in the fridge for next time. Lindy Segal, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Easy DIY Lip Scrub Recipe You Have to Try," 2 Dec. 2019 During Black Friday, two of our favorite hobbies collide: eating leftovers and shopping. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "The Best Urban Outfitters Black Friday 2019 Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle Deals," 27 Nov. 2019 Cover any leftovers and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Rick Nelson, chicagotribune.com, "‘King of Lowcountry cooking’ shares tips on cuisine with a Southern accent," 27 Nov. 2019 More than 1 in 4 Americans (26%), who had turkey last Thanksgiving left it out for three hours or more before putting away leftovers. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Study: More than half of Americans use unsanitary cooking practices," 26 Nov. 2019 Use leftovers for a baked pasta — layer the squash with rigatoni or penne cooked firmly al dente, and then shower with grated cheese and bread crumbs. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "How to eat that decorative squash on your table with Parmesan, brown butter," 21 Nov. 2019 Hood stripped the finish and used some stain leftover from a build-your-own stereo speakers kit to give the bass a matte walnut finish. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The mystery of The Swampers’ stolen Muscle Shoals bass guitar," 12 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Application is super easy, the lashes stay on all day, and no-lash-glue-required also means no more picking leftover clumps of the stuff out of your real lashes (or washing the gunk on your falsies before reusing them). Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "Which Magnetic Liner and Lashes Stand Up to the Windy City?," 28 Jan. 2020 At this time of year, Rose’s name always seems to drift upward into your mentions, kind of the way last night’s leftover shrimp rises out of the trash bin. Dallas News, "Evan Grant’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, and what the Astros scandal could mean for future voting," 20 Jan. 2020 So dinner was leftover chili verde, and Tuesday was a sandwich and yogurt for lunch day. Washington Post, "Better breakfasts, less takeout, more togetherness: Our 2020 food resolutions," 17 Jan. 2020 Between us was a plate of leftover Christmas cookies. Nancy Shohet West, BostonGlobe.com, "A year preserved in pictures, but where’s the rest of the story?," 17 Jan. 2020 Cook with them once, and there are always leftover peppers. Alex Delany, Bon Appétit, "6 Things to Do With a Can of Chipotles in Adobo Sauce," 14 Jan. 2020 Cheesy Pasta Shells With Butternut Squash Got leftover butternut squash? Grant Butler, oregonlive, "35 Thanksgiving leftovers recipes that turn turkey and all the trimmings into something new," 28 Nov. 2019 The Quadrantid meteor shower occurs every year during early January, as leftover comet particles and broken asteroid pieces come around the sun and emit a dusty trail for the Earth to pass through. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "The Quadrantid meteor shower will light up the sky this weekend. Here's how to watch.," 2 Jan. 2020 The custom arose because servants, who would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, were allowed to visit their families the next day and employers would give them boxes to take home containing gifts, bonuses and, sometimes, leftover food. Editors, USA TODAY, "Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, holiday travel: 5 things you need to know Thursday," 26 Dec. 2019

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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leftover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leftover?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=l&file=leftov01. Accessed 18 Feb. 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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