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 It’s the throwaway fat joke in the children’s movie that quietly creates a harmful stigma. Erica Russell,, "Dear Hollywood, Can You Please Just Hire Actual Fat People to Play Fat Characters?," 3 May 2021 Still, those aren’t throwaway picks but likely developmental projects. Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, "Saints, Colts looking to future with selection of quarterbacks on Day 3 of NFL draft," 1 May 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The advert plays like razor-sharp parody, funnier than any SNL skit, a cynical blend of progressive buzzwords that the creators of South Park would likely compose as a throwaway gag. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, "The Internet Comes Together To Mock The CIA’s New ‘Woke’ Ad," 4 May 2021 Statements that simply mentioned the existence of organized labor and throwaway mentions of loving unions in the context of describing problems caused by unions were not included. Washington Post, "Biden talks like the most pro-union president since the New Deal," 30 Apr. 2021 So were movies themselves — throwaway amusements, no more durable than a Ferris wheel ride. Los Angeles Times, "Financial ruin. Possible destruction. What will be the Cinerama’s Hollywood ending?," 20 Apr. 2021 Whatever countries decide on incineration, cutting waste will also require addressing its source, by pushing producers to make less throwaway packaging, and longer-lasting goods, said Jakobsen, the Danish waste association official. Beth Gardiner, Wired, "In Europe, Backlash Heats Up Over Garbage Incinerators," 10 Apr. 2021 Rotaro was born out of the urgent need for a solution to once-off, throwaway fashion. Angela Lei, Forbes, "How This Luxury Fashion Rental Platform Will Make Sure You Have The Best Wardrobe This Summer," 7 Apr. 2021 But a few words all those years ago from Bradley’s father, Reiner, that at the time seemed a kind of throwaway quote about his son, in light of what’s happened now, stands out. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Shawn Bradley may be paralyzed from his bike accident, but he can stand tall again," 19 Mar. 2021 On the previous snap, defensive end Genard Avery had whizzed past McGlinchey and forced a sideline throwaway. Eric Branch,, "John Lynch: 49ers will probably ask Mike McGlinchey to add weight," 19 Dec. 2020 Durability was key, of course, in part because this is a garment that needs to put up with rocks, dirt, twigs, and thorns, but also because Pennes wanted to make a garment that lasted, not some annual throwaway. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, "The New Sunset Garden Apron Is a Work of Functional, Sustainable Beauty," 12 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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Statistics for throwaway

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Throwaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 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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