\ ˈtrash \

Definition of trash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something worth little or nothing: such as
a : junk, rubbish
b(1) : inferior or worthless writing or artistic matter (such as a television show) especially : such matter intended purely for sensational entertainment
(2) : trash talk
(3) : empty talk : nonsense
2 : a worthless person also : such persons as a group : riffraff
3 : something in a crumbled or broken condition or mass especially : debris from pruning or processing plant material


trashed; trashing; trashes

Definition of trash (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : throw away sense 1 standards of reality and truth were trashed— Edwin Diamond
4 : spoil, ruin trashing the environment
5 : to subject to criticism or invective especially : to disparage strongly a film trashed by the critics

intransitive verb

: to trash something or someone

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Examples of trash in a Sentence


Take out the trash, please. I put the dirty diaper in the trash. I can't believe you're reading that trash. She thinks that they're all trash.


a computer program that trashes useless files The vacuum cleaner couldn't be fixed, so I trashed it. The apartment had been trashed. He says that the government's policies are trashing the environment.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The trope of feminists burning their bras en-masse is actually a myth stemming from a women’s liberation demonstration when women tossed seemingly anti-feminist items into a trash can that was briefly set on fire. Emma Sarran Webster, Teen Vogue, "Why You Don't Have to Wear a Bra," 30 Nov. 2018 All the colorful icons on the screen — the trash can, the mouse pointer, the file folders — bear no resemblance at all to what’s really going on inside the computer. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Police discovered 41 pipe bombs in a cooler in Metcalf's garage and one in a backyard trash can, the documents state, adding that components to make 30 more were found in his car. Fox News, "Records: More than 40 pipe bombs found in Arizona man's home," 31 Aug. 2018 Crews later responded to reports of a trash can fire around 4:11 a.m. on Voltaire Street near Abbott Street, and reports of a fence fire shortly after 5:30 a.m. on West Point Loma Boulevard near Abbott, Stirk said. City News Service,, "Firefighters respond to multiple fires in Ocean Beach," 13 July 2018 When finished, dispose of fireworks by wetting them down and placing in a metal trash can away from buildings until the following day. Stephanie Petit,, "How to Stay Safe While Setting Off Fireworks This July 4th," 4 July 2018 An old photo of Carrie Fisher in a trash can, holding a bottle of wine, screams big mood. Steven Hyden, New York Times, "Is the National ‘Mood’ the One in Polls or the One Online?," 2 July 2018 According to his arrest report, Blanc, who had been under police surveillance since Bernard was found dead the day before, was spotted early Tuesday morning having trouble wheeling a trash can outside. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Florida man accused of killing pregnant wife, trying to cut up her body," 14 June 2018 However, there may be other objects—like a plastic bag in the road or a trash can on the sidewalk—that a car can safely ignore. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Report: Software bug led to death in Uber’s self-driving crash," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The focus now shifts to London, where Parliament is expected to vote on the deal in December and where dozens of Mrs. May’s fellow Conservative Party lawmakers, as well as some members of the opposition Labour Party, have trashed the deal. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "U.K., EU Approve Hard-Fought Brexit Divorce Deal. Now the Harder Work Begins.," 25 Nov. 2018 Parliament’s security check point including a metal detector was trashed and doors were destroyed along with their fingerprint-reading locking systems, Kramer said. Ciaran Mcquillan, The Seattle Times, "Police storm Papua New Guinea Parliament for APEC summit pay," 20 Nov. 2018 The Police Department was certainly aware of DNA and its potential to help solve crimes by the time the evidence was trashed, according to Gahn and Williams. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A killer left DNA evidence behind. But Milwaukee police destroyed it.," 22 June 2018 Then there's the issue of McConnell, who once again finds himself being trashed in a GOP Senate primary battle. CBS News, "What to know about Tuesday's West Virginia GOP primary," 8 May 2018 The Badgers trailed eventual champion Michigan State, 19-17, at halftime of a semifinal game in 2000 that was trashed from Seattle to Miami and Boston to San Diego. Bill Livingston,, "March Madness 2018: Virginia is No. 1, but will it win? -- Bill Livingston," 13 Mar. 2018 This was the senator who read Green Eggs and Ham to shut down the government over Obamacare and repeatedly trashed his own party as part of his political strategy. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Ted Cruz reelected to the US Senate after a surprisingly competitive race," 7 Nov. 2018 Blair by trashing her reputation because that’s accurate. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, "Every Single Episode of Gossip Girl, Ranked," 19 Sep. 2018 Motivating voters requires more than trashing Trump. Amy Chance, sacbee, "California Influencers: What did we learn from the June primary election, and why?," 11 June 2018

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


circa 1518, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1902, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for trash


Middle English trasch fallen leaves and twigs, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian dialect trask rubbish; Old Norse tros fallen leaves and twigs, Old English trus

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Statistics for trash

Last Updated

7 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trash

The first known use of trash was circa 1518

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More Definitions for trash



English Language Learners Definition of trash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown away
: a container where people put things that are being thrown away
informal : something that is very low in quality



English Language Learners Definition of trash (Entry 2 of 2)

US : to throw away (something)
: to cause great damage to (something)
: to criticize (someone or something) very harshly


\ ˈtrash \

Kids Definition of trash

1 : something of little or no value that is thrown away
2 : people who deserve little respect

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More from Merriam-Webster on trash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trash

Spanish Central: Translation of trash

Nglish: Translation of trash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trash for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trash

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esteemed in general opinion

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