throwaway

1 of 3

adjective

throw·​away ˈthrō-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce throwaway (audio)
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
3
4
: marked by a tendency to discard things : overly wasteful
a throwaway society

throwaway

2 of 3

noun

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

3 of 3

verb

threw away; thrown away; throwing away; throws away

transitive verb

1
a
: to get rid of as worthless or unnecessary
2
a
: 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

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
Reich also makes skillful use of the callback, in which a seemingly throwaway line is revisited and built on, sometimes multiple times. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2023 Even the seemingly throwaway dialogue in a dinner scene reinforces how society perceives women struggling to balance the unfair demands of family and career. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2023 There are no throwaway humans. Meredith Goldstein, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Mar. 2023 In a lesser actress' hands, this might seem like a throwaway role as a character who is always there, but mostly speaks in sporadic moments of truly angelic song. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 2 Mar. 2023 Many of these units were essentially throwaway soldiers; Ukrainian soldiers have called them human wave assaults. Andrew E. Kramer Nicole Tung, New York Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Well, none of the smiles in the film are from throwaway characters. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Dec. 2022 And then there’s this quick, throwaway comment from Mark Cuban in a recent podcast. John Brandon, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2022 Aemma is a throwaway character who has virtually no dialogue that isn't about her pregnancy. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 26 Sep. 2022
Noun
So often characters have plans and there’s a throwaway line to explain their motivations that was like a hundred pages earlier or a hundred pages later, or doesn’t appear at all. Geek's Guide To The Galaxy, WIRED, 26 Jan. 2024 But the cameo that tickles everyone belongs to the Pee-wee Herman creator, who pays off a throwaway joke from early in the film when Awkwafina and on-screen sister Sandra Oh bump into him on the lot where the quiz show tapes. Peter Debruge, Variety, 24 Nov. 2023 Even more revealing, perhaps, is the throwaway line in which Rebecca casually references what sounds like Stanley Milgram’s disturbing experiments on authoritarianism, violence and the power of suggestion. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 30 Nov. 2023 His team began sending a flurry of legal requests to the email and internet service providers for every account associated with the throwaway profiles Paras had created for Mirai, as well as those of Paras and Josiah themselves and ProTraf Solutions. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 It’s been a cornerstone of consumer society — the throwaway cup with the emerald logo. Peter Prengaman, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Sep. 2023 A Little More Than Gollum, a Little Less Than Human The concept of the Sewer Boys was just a throwaway joke in the original Upright Citizens Brigade stage show on which Dicks is based. Vulture, 24 Oct. 2023 But the group could also live-stream the executions to a social media platform or other website using a throwaway account, as mass murderers have done in recent years. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2023 For serving, use throwaway cups, plates and cutlery. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 10 Sep. 2023
Verb
This thrown away statement is actually significant to AV fans for two reasons. John Archer, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 The warrant also said a neighbor saw Vargas throw away Arenas’ belongings and had the carpeting replaced in the home. Jeff A. Chamer, Charlotte Observer, 13 Feb. 2024 The products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase, the USDA says. USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2024 Rent Your Décor and Fashion Purchasing new items—that likely will be thrown away in landfills—can be one of the biggest drivers of your wedding’s waste. Shelby Wax, Vogue, 7 Feb. 2024 The Wings gave up a season-high 25 shots in the second period that turned into four goals for the Stars, throwing away what was an otherwise pretty strong performance. Andrew Birkle, Detroit Free Press, 25 Jan. 2024 These notes cannot be thrown away like ordinary rubbish. The Physics Arxiv Blog, Discover Magazine, 23 Jan. 2024 The second attacker, a woman, can then be seen throwing away her bag and running toward the body of the first attacker laying on the ground. Gul Tuysuz, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024 Once, at a London gallery, a cleaner threw away most of a table piece that displayed the aftermath of a picnic. Max Norman, The New Yorker, 3 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1886, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near throwaway

throw a fit

throwaway

throw away

Cite this Entry

“Throwaway.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/throwaway. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

throwaway

1 of 3 noun
throw·​away ˈthrō-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce throwaway (audio)
: something that is or is designed to be thrown away especially after one use

throwaway

2 of 3 adjective
throw·​away
ˌthrō-ə-ˌwā
: designed to be thrown away : disposable
throwaway cans and bottles

throw away

3 of 3 verb
ˌthrō-ə-ˈwā
1
: to get rid of : discard
threw the old ones away
2
: squander, waste
careful not to throw money away
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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