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


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

Tarantino is still practicing a cinema of saturation, demanding the audience’s total attention and bombarding us with allusions, visual jokes, flights of profane eloquence, daubs of throwaway beauty and gobs of premeditated gore. New York Times, "‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Review: We Lost It at the Movies," 24 July 2019 Don't think that this is just some throwaway idea that was tacked on to make the latest edition a little less samey - there is a reasonable amount to do with 'Volta Football'., "FIFA 20: New Game to Include Exciting 'Volta Football' Mo Reminiscent of FIFA Street," 8 June 2019 But thanks to a throwaway line in the post-credits scene, some fans are theorizing that Hopper may have somehow survived the explosion in the underground Russian lab. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Let's Discuss the Stranger Things Season 3 Theories About This Beloved Character's Fate," 9 July 2019 Even subtle throwaway thoughts from Stranger Things stars like Brown have given us pause in declaring Hopper dead. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "All the theories on who's in that bunker at the end of Stranger Things season 3," 6 July 2019 That line is tinged with a whole lot of emotion for a throwaway line. Rachel Paige,, "Spider-Man: Far From Home," 5 July 2019 But Raven’s dialogue ends with a throwaway line that completely neuters her argument. Anne Cohen,, "Why Are Blockbuster Movies About Women Such Clichés?," 8 June 2019 The gamma radiation theory This one comes from Reddit, where one user posited that a seemingly throwaway line in Avengers: Endgame might set up the rise of the mutants. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "What's Next for the X-Men After Dark Phoenix?," 7 June 2019 The orange phones are the bane of litter-decrying French environmentalists and a symbol of careless, throwaway cartoon strip capitalism. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "A 35-Year-Old Garfield Novelty Telephone Mystery Has Been Solved," 29 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yes, those who love comics will thrill to the throwaway gags. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Amazon's The Boys Tests the Limits of Superhero Fatigue," 26 July 2019 Hogan’s six-play set was disjointed: Incompletion under pressure (DT Zach Kerr pushed back RG Don Barclay), screen pass, drop by Dunbar, rushing, throwaway and incompletion. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos training camp rewind, Day 3: Four interceptions by defense," 20 July 2019 Heck, even the beef and kimchi gyoza are sharp, a compelling take on a dish that’s usually a throwaway, even when it isn’t frozen. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 Oddly, season 11’s weirdest queen, finds thrift store throwaways and household items to create her unique brand of avant-garde drag on a broke queen budget. Joey Nolfi,, "Yvie Oddly, Nina West, more Drag Race stars getting new reality shows," 27 June 2019 This throwaway line suggests that one makes a choice to be an addict, yet among the myriad reasons that lead any individual to first ingest a psychoactive substance, becoming an addict is not one. Marcia Angell, The New York Review of Books, "Painful Choices," 4 Apr. 2019 The policy seems to be working though, both judging by Metro’s sales and a throwaway stat in the presentation that the average Epic Games Store user already owns three games. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "The Epic Games Store won't always push for exclusives 'at this scale'," 21 Mar. 2019 In raising the pressure on North Korea, Trump has shocked the world with his seemingly throwaway insults of Kim, who has responded in kind. Washington Post, "Analysis: North Korea’s outreach greeted with skepticism," 7 Mar. 2018 Green forged another route: The designer applied traditional homey techniques like crochet and ruching usually used in womenswear to contemporary materials and forward-looking silhouettes that looked anything but throwaway. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Inspired by Craig Green’s Fall 2019 Lineup, a Look at Fantastic Plastics in Fashion," 7 Jan. 2019

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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Statistics for throwaway

Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for throwaway

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

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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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with throwaway

Comments on throwaway

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a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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