waste·​bas·​ket ˈwās(t)-ˌba-skət How to pronounce wastebasket (audio)
: a receptacle for refuse and especially for wastepaper

called also wastepaper basket

Example Sentences

She tossed the wrapper into the wastebasket.
Recent Examples on the Web Whatever is in the wastebasket. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2021 Police said the only sign of struggle was an overturned wastebasket. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 6 June 2022 In the opening minutes, a static shot shows a small boy sitting on the bathroom floor absent-mindedly munching on a plastic wastebasket. Adam Nayman, The New Yorker, 3 June 2022 Two delivered packages – one containing a T-shirt, the other a wastebasket – were stolen between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. from the front door of an apartment at Tower in the Park, 55 Barrett. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 5 May 2022 In a 2015 New York Times article, Mr. Durst’s brother, Douglas Durst, recalled discovering in the early 1990s that his wastebasket and that of his uncle were used by Robert Durst for urinating. Keiko Morris, WSJ, 10 Jan. 2022 There is nothing appealing about being people’s emotional wastebasket, and that is not in your job description. Roxane Gay, New York Times, 8 Oct. 2021 The pitcher is placed in a large wastebasket and given a beer shower. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 His allies then cleared out, taking the wastebasket with them. New York Times, 1 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wastebasket.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1850, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wastebasket was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near wastebasket

Cite this Entry

“Wastebasket.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wastebasket. Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


waste·​bas·​ket ˈwās(t)-ˌbas-kət How to pronounce wastebasket (audio)
: an open container for trash and especially wastepaper

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