throw·​away | \ ˈthrō-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce throwaway (audio) \

Definition of throwaway

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : designed to be thrown away : disposable throwaway containers
2 : written or spoken (as in a play) in a low-key or unemphatic manner throwaway lines
4 : marked by a tendency to discard things : overly wasteful a throwaway society



Definition of throwaway (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : one that is or is designed to be thrown away: such as
a : a free handbill or circular
b : a line of dialogue (as in a play) de-emphasized by casual delivery especially : a joke or witticism delivered casually
2 : something made or done without care or interest
3 : a child who has been forced to leave home or who has run away from indifferent or hostile parents

throw away

threw away; thrown away; throwing away; throws away

Definition of throw away (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to get rid of as worthless or unnecessary
2a : to use in a foolish or wasteful manner : squander
b : to fail to take advantage of : waste throw away an opportunity
3 : to make (something, such as a line in a play) unemphatic by casual delivery

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Examples of throwaway in a Sentence

Verb I should throw away that torn shirt. if you buy a high-end computer, you'll just be throwing away money on a bunch of features you'll never use
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Hidden in what may appear to be throwaway lines of dialogue are clues like Mike remembering Kyle’s ideal bachelor party. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Is ‘The Climb’ the greatest bromantic comedy ever?," 11 Nov. 2020 As Poirot finds throughout his career, the most mundane clues can prove vital: a fire laid on a hot summer’s day, a bath run at an unusual hour, or a throwaway comment about a wasp sting. The Economist, "Little grey cells Hercule Poirot turns 100," 26 Sep. 2020 Over the course of their life, a single set of (re)zip bags should replace hundreds of throwaway plastic bags. NBC News, "Best eco-friendly products to reduce plastic in the kitchen 2020," 6 May 2020 Early on, well before all hell breaks loose, there’s a seemingly throwaway moment that encapsulates nearly everything this movie is about: the insatiability of the human appetite and the pleasure of breaking the rules. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Hugh Jackman is at his best in the engrossing school-scam drama ‘Bad Education’," 23 Apr. 2020 Quinn doesn’t need to take weird chances on a slow cornerback like Teez Tabor or make a throwaway pick on a long snapper. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Biggest mistake Detroit Lions could make in NFL draft is Tua Tagovailoa: #NeverTua," 21 Apr. 2020 And using a reusable water bottle is way better for the environment than using throwaway plastic water bottles. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "The Best Non-Perishable Food to Buy For Your Pantry," 30 Apr. 2020 Well, Biden mentioned it in kind of a throwaway line. ABC News, "'This Week' Transcript 2-23-20: Amb. Robert O'Brien, Rep. Jim Clyburn," 22 Feb. 2020 She's not put in in a gratuitous way or throwaway moment. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'I'm 92% terrified': Director J.J. Abrams unveils 'Star Wars': The Rise of Skywalker'," 17 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But what most outside the program didn’t grasp was how a throwaway banner representing a title for also-rans might become the genesis of something greater. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, "Texas takes next step with elusive Big 12 title," 13 Mar. 2021 Patel decries the accelerating trend of electronics as throwaway products that are difficult or impossible to repair. Dwight Silverman, Forbes, "Laptop Startup Framework Thinks It Can Succeed Where Many Others Have Failed," 11 Mar. 2021 No more throwaway weekends, no more same-old, same-old. Washington Post, "What covid-19 did to travel — and what it will do," 10 Mar. 2021 It was supposed to be a throwaway joke, just one of many in the beloved comedy starring Murphy as naive prince Akeem, of the fictional nation of Zamunda, and Arsenio Hall as his beleaguered attaché Semmi. Jason Newman, Rolling Stone, "Shine Through: The Definitive Oral History of ‘Soul Glo’," 4 Mar. 2021 The filmmaker found his solution in B-roll: a throwaway wide shot that highlighted the red phone booth that serves as the town’s only link to the outside world. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies History," 22 Feb. 2021 Late nights after election nights are throwaway bookings that the famous figures and sensible pundits turn down. Star Tribune, "The time I helped Larry King catch a catnap," 25 Jan. 2021 But the original live recording was a bit of a throwaway. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "50 greatest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame albums of 1971," 22 Jan. 2021 Kedon Slovis, who should have been a Heisman candidate, was harassed all night and threw three interceptions, including the game-clincher in the final minutes on a throwaway pass that was nabbed by lunging Oregon cornerback Jamal Hill. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Soul-crushing defeats have become the norm for once-mighty Trojans program," 19 Dec. 2020

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


1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for throwaway

Time Traveler

The first known use of throwaway was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Throwaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for throwaway



English Language Learners Definition of throwaway

: made to be thrown away after use
: made or said with very little thought
: tending to throw things away instead of keeping them and using them again : very wasteful

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