rub·​bish | \ ˈrə-bish How to pronounce rubbish (audio) , dialectal -bij\

Definition of rubbish

1 : useless waste or rejected matter : trash
2 : something that is worthless or nonsensical few real masterpieces are forgotten and not much rubbish survives— William Bridges-Adams

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Other Words from rubbish

rubbishy \ ˈrə-​bə-​shē How to pronounce rubbishy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of rubbish in a Sentence

Please, pick the rubbish up off the ground. I think what he says is absolute rubbish! “I'm sorry, but I had to do it.” “Rubbish!” The food at that restaurant is complete rubbish.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Last week, for instance, a whale died in southern Thailand after eating plastic rubbish and vomiting out several plastic bags. Rick Noack, Washington Post, "Sharks, cold water and ‘plastic smog’: Swimmer crosses Pacific to fight pollution," 5 June 2018 Erick Uriel Sandoval is accused of helping burn the students’ bodies at a rubbish dump. The Economist, "Politics this week," 15 Mar. 2018 Then, everyone except those in power was aware of the national crisis: strikes, rubbish in the streets, general malaise. Benedict Kiely, National Review, "Pope Francis Gets His ‘Mess’," 9 Feb. 2018 Suction cups or oversized tongs attached to the arms snag cans, glass, plastic containers, and other recyclable items out of the rubbish and flick them into nearby bins. Bryn Nelson /, NBC News, "How robots are reshaping one of the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs," 17 Apr. 2018 As a specialist in Maya civilization, Rathje was well practiced in the study of middens, heaps of ancient rubbish that had provided his field with most of its knowledge about Mesoamerican culture. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Vanishing City," 13 Aug. 2018 Two wine barrels filled with human excrement, sand and gravel fragments, animal bones and an array of Renaissance-era rubbish have enabled Danish archaeologists to map the dietary and hygienic habits of a 17th-century Copenhagen neighborhood. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Unseal 17th-Century Danish Latrines to Discover Copenhageners’ Dietary Habits," 9 July 2018 But the season’s repertory (scheduled months ago by Mr. Martins) also contained 21st-century rubbish. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Taking the Pulse of New York City Ballet Without Peter Martins," 23 Feb. 2018 But dictatorships are rubbish at football, which requires more creativity and flair. The Economist, "For all its faults, the World Cup in Russia is worth celebrating," 9 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rubbish.' 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 rubbish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rubbish

Middle English robous

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Statistics for rubbish

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rubbish

The first known use of rubbish was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for rubbish



English Language Learners Definition of rubbish

: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown out
chiefly British, informal : words or ideas that are foolish or untrue
informal : something that is worthless, unimportant, or of poor quality


rub·​bish | \ ˈrə-bish How to pronounce rubbish (audio) \

Kids Definition of rubbish

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Comments on rubbish

What made you want to look up rubbish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


highly pertinent or appropriate

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