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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for leftover

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 fritter magic happens with the leftover scrap dough a little bit later. Louisa Chu, chicagotribune.com, "He’s 82, but the owner of Old Fashioned Donuts in Roseland has no plans to stop making the best apple fritters in Chicago," 27 Oct. 2020 When done, dilute any leftover mixture with water and pour it down the drain. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Striped skunks: these little stinkers also help keep pests under control around San Antonio homes and are sweet and docile," 27 Oct. 2020 The leftover funds must be spent by a December 30 deadline. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "North Dakota seeks to reallocate $16 million in federal coronavirus relief toward fracking," 25 Oct. 2020 The Ethical Spirits & Co was founded in February 2020 to help sake distillers turn leftover sake lees into new spirits, says co-founder Chikara Ono. Rebecca Cairns, CNN, "Japanese craft breweries are turning unsold beer into gin," 22 Oct. 2020 Rieser has relied on leftover campaign funds from his 2018 victory over Frank Dargavage while Hannon has raked in donations from a long list of prominent community members while also outspending Rieser nearly 3-to-1. Jeff Forward, Chron, "Woodlands race sees Hannon top Rieser in financial support," 21 Oct. 2020 This repels aluminum onto another conveyer belt, allowing the leftover material to fall below. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "Scrub Hub: Where does my recycling go after it's picked up from the curb?," 20 Oct. 2020 Alongside a slew of midriff-baring tops and ‘50s-era skirts at Emilia Wickstead in London, were oversized lunch bags crafted out of leftover fabric from the collection. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, "2020 Saw The Crowning Of The Big Bag. Long May She Reign.," 16 Oct. 2020 Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has indicated that Congress would need to authorize the Treasury to redirect leftover funds, such as the money that was appropriated for backstopping Federal Reserve lending programs. Niraj Chokshi, New York Times, "Airlines, Facing a Painfully Slow Recovery, Begin Furloughing Thousands," 1 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Contact municipal authorities to learn how to safely dispose of leftover muriatic acid. Popular Mechanics, "How to Safely Use Muriatic Acid," 6 Oct. 2020 Protect the environment by disposing of any leftover product properly, as specified on the label, and NEVER put it down a drain or in the gutter. Linda Jones, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Garden Mastery: Here’s how to identify and manage insect pests in your garden," 12 Sep. 2020 While putting together the 2021 budget, department heads have been instructed to maintain their 2020 budget as much as possible and to return any leftover money to the general fund because of the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Council considers how to approach salary raises if a department head finds a way to increase salary for their employees within their budget," 8 Sep. 2020 Until 2019, when the country withdrew from the I.W.C., Japan openly exploited a loophole that allows whales to be killed for research purposes, and any leftover whale meat to be sold as food. Amia Srinivasan, The New Yorker, "What Have We Done to the Whale?," 17 Aug. 2020 Meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Perseid meteor shower peaks overnight: Times, how to see shooting stars," 11 Aug. 2020 It’s delicious by itself, as a straight-on soup, or atop cooked or leftover rice, or aside fritters or pakoras, the way it is commonly served in Punjab. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "A pair of simple soup recipes using only a few ingredients," 14 Apr. 2020 People are still living in tents on both islands, and officials said crews were trying to remove leftover debris ahead of Isaias. NBC News, "Hurricane Isaias approaches Bahamas, on path to come near U.S. East Coast," 31 July 2020 People are still living in tents on both islands, and officials said crews were trying to remove leftover debris ahead of Isaias. Danica Coto, Anchorage Daily News, "Bahamas and Florida brace as Hurricane Isaias bears down," 31 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of leftover


1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1864, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leftover

Time Traveler for leftover

Time Traveler

The first known use of leftover was in 1864

See more words from the same year

Statistics for leftover

Last Updated

30 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Leftover.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leftover. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!