waste·​bas·​ket | \ ˈwās(t)-ˌba-skət How to pronounce wastebasket (audio) \

Definition of wastebasket

: a receptacle for refuse and especially for wastepaper

called also wastepaper basket

Examples of wastebasket in a Sentence

She tossed the wrapper into the wastebasket.

Recent Examples on the Web

Disrespect and exploitation are worthy targets of our disapproval, but the idea of cultural appropriation is ripe for the wastebasket. Kwame Anthony Appiah, WSJ, "Cultural Borrowing Is Great; The Problem Is Disrespect," 30 Aug. 2018 There were wastebaskets catching rainwater seeping through the ceiling, cardboard and wood chips and carpets meant to soak up days worth of dampness at Pimlico Race Course. Melissa Hoppert, New York Times, "Justify Wins the Preakness, Keeping Alive Hopes for a Triple Crown," 19 May 2018 According to plumbing company Boulden Brothers, these are frequently the cause of clogs and should always be thrown out in a wastebasket instead. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "16 Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet," 29 June 2018 One day Letty noticed that a wastebasket under the bar was missing a magnetic lid known as a silverware trap, which catches utensils from sliding through a slot into the waste. Rick Montgomery, kansascity, "Deported by ICE, Blue Line manager still runs hockey bar, prays with family every day," 10 June 2018 Labor leaders said Salvadorans with protected status mop floors in Washington museums and empty wastebaskets at the World Bank. Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, "‘We will lose practically everything’: Salvadorans devastated by TPS decision," 8 Jan. 2018 In the months before the big fire, there were at least two minor fires in the Res Club, originating on a paper plate and in a wastebasket. New York Times, "Never Solved, a College Dorm Fire Has Become One Man’s Obsession," 13 Apr. 2018 But is that any less crazy than the fact — emphasis on fact — that the Pentagon planted a spy in the Nixon White House to steal secrets from the wastebaskets? Glenn Garvin, Anchorage Daily News, "Is the deep state real — and is it really at war with Donald Trump?," 3 Feb. 2018 Layer in choice accessories such as a wastebasket, towel ring and toilet paper holder. Lisa Marie Hart, USA TODAY, "Take a fresh approach to updating your entire house," 25 Mar. 2018

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

1850, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near wastebasket


waste away

waste bank


waste bin


waste bowl

Statistics for wastebasket

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Time Traveler for wastebasket

The first known use of wastebasket was in 1850

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More Definitions for wastebasket



English Language Learners Definition of wastebasket

US : a small container for trash


waste·​bas·​ket | \ ˈwāst-ˌba-skət How to pronounce wastebasket (audio) \

Kids Definition of wastebasket

: an open container for odds and ends to be thrown away

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More from Merriam-Webster on wastebasket

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wastebasket

Spanish Central: Translation of wastebasket

Nglish: Translation of wastebasket for Spanish Speakers

Comments on wastebasket

What made you want to look up wastebasket? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a secret plot to overthrow a government

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