rub·​bish ˈrə-bish How to pronounce rubbish (audio)
 dialectal  -bij
: useless waste or rejected matter : trash
: something that is worthless or nonsensical
few real masterpieces are forgotten and not much rubbish survivesWilliam Bridges-Adams
rubbishy 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.
Recent Examples on the Web These notes cannot be thrown away like ordinary rubbish. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2024 The woman was found on Redwood Street near 44th Street standing near an active rubbish fire, Pechin said. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Jan. 2024 Advertisement For waste haulers and recycling plant managers across the state, this tidal wave of rubbish brings its own peculiar risks and challenges. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 31 Dec. 2023 A number of male elephants are attracted to this location not only by the rubbish but also by nearby crops. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The scent of Blue Razz Lemonade replaces traffic fumes; Banana Ice covers the rancid smell of rubbish. WIRED, 19 Nov. 2023 The contract covers removal of garbage, rubbish, recyclables and one large item, such as a sofa or television, per week. Kimberly Fornek, Chicago Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 In the film, set in 1984 London, 7-year-old Maria and her mother live in their own loving world built on sorting through bins and collecting shiny rubbish. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 22 Aug. 2023 The city cited Ahmad for various rubbish, including some home appliances, and a pile of mulch on one of her lots. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rubbish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English robous

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near rubbish

Cite this Entry

“Rubbish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


rub·​bish ˈrəb-ish How to pronounce rubbish (audio)
: useless waste or stuff that has been thrown away : trash
rubbishy adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on rubbish

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