1 of 2


: something worth little or nothing: such as
: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown away : junk, rubbish
: inferior or worthless writing or artistic matter (such as a television show)
especially : such matter intended purely for sensational entertainment
: empty talk : nonsense
: a worthless person
also : such persons as a group : riffraff
: something in a crumbled or broken condition or mass
especially : debris from pruning or processing plant material


2 of 2


trashed; trashing; trashes

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to trash something or someone

Example Sentences

Noun 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. Verb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The little pine trees, some still topped with fake snow or lights, are often tossed to the side of the road or dumped into trash cans, ultimately ending up decomposing in landfills. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Dec. 2022 Riot police officers fired tear gas and clashed with dozens of angry protesters who lit trash cans on fire and threw projectiles at the police. Aurelien Breeden, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2022 Riot police officers fired tear gas and clashed with dozens of angry protesters who lit trash cans on fire and threw projectiles at police. Aurelien Breeden,, 23 Dec. 2022 The San Francisco Giants’ new $350 million man was in his third big-league season in 2017 when the Astros illegally used technology (and trash cans) on their way to the World Series championship. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Dec. 2022 According to her post, the vandals also broke spotlights and turned over trash cans. Mildred Fallen And Kendall Hyde, The Enquirer, 8 Dec. 2022 The amazing workhorse never disappointed, from cutting through stove top messes to sanitizing and cleaning trash cans, dust pans, and vacuums. Wendy Vazquez, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Dec. 2022 If water pressure becomes low, toilet flushing can become an issue, so fill bathtubs, clean 2-liter-size soda bottles, trash cans or other clean containers. Ann Maloney, Washington Post, 5 Dec. 2022 When Will and Kate finally stepped out onto the stage, the crowd erupted in cheers, with some even standing on trash cans to get a better view. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 30 Nov. 2022
Scott Pelley was really asking how a respectable government official, a rule upholder, regards those who trash those standards. Time, 14 Jan. 2023 Kohberger's Elantra is seen on surveillance video in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. Dec. 27 Law enforcement recovers trash from the Kohberger family home and sends the evidence to the Idaho State Laboratory for testing. Jennifer Borresen, USA Today, 14 Jan. 2023 Similar are dust devils, which are those little whirlwinds that whip up dirt on baseball infields and trash at the exterior corners of buildings. Doug Criss, CNN, 28 Nov. 2022 Supporters say the credits make sense because the removal of the recyclable materials leaves essentially only trash for the haulers to pick up. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Oct. 2022 But the outlook does not assume that service levels will rise, even though Mayor Todd Gloria has said that’s a high priority, especially quality-of-life efforts focused on graffiti, potholes and trash in parks and neighborhoods. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Nov. 2022 Why did Tom Emmer tell his consultants to run to the leftwing Daily Beast to trash Jim Banks, Tucker Carlson and Tucker's family? Rafi Schwartz, The Week, 8 Nov. 2022 Rusty gates at the ends of alleys lead to dark maws that are filled with memories of war, and sometimes trash or bats — or an altar or restaurant annex. Amy Chang Chien, New York Times, 6 Nov. 2022 Supermarket chains in Britain started removing date labels on produce after research showed that including them led people to trash perfectly good food. Somini Sengupta,, 13 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1902, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of trash was circa 1529

Dictionary Entries Near trash

Cite this Entry

“Trash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


: something of little or no value: as
: silly or worthless talk or works (as books)
: a low or worthless person
also : such persons as a group : rabble sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on trash

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