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

Plastic bathroom wastebaskets also work well for soaking. Los Angeles Times, "Readers’ laundry tips and secrets for keeping clothes clean while traveling," 4 Sep. 2019 Advertising The late general-assignment reporter Bob Barr was lighting his pipe in the newsroom, throwing his kitchen match into his nearby wastebasket. Greg Gilbert, The Seattle Times, "In 52 years at The Seattle Times, photographer Greg Gilbert has seen it all. But he wants to see more.," 31 July 2019 Instead, Kranz had to remove water bottles and empty wastebaskets from the consoles after the tours. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "'We did the impossible': What it was like inside Apollo 11's Mission Control," 19 July 2019 Or a wastebasket emoji plus a pickup truck to symbolize a garbage truck. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Ford designs a pickup truck emoji, petitions Unicode Consortium," 17 July 2019 Ailes' hemophilia is revealed A cut on his foot that won’t stop bleeding and a wastebasket full of tissues from a bloody nose reveal Ailes’ hemophilia, a condition in which a person’s blood doesn’t clot. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Showtime's Fox News series launches with 10 major Roger Ailes talking points," 1 July 2019 Hadley famously oversaw a renovation of the Neighborhood House's lobby in the 1970s and led a group in painting wastebaskets to sell at the House's annual Christmas bazaar. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "See How 32 Designers Transform a Dining Room in Just a Few Hours," 3 May 2019 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of wastebasket

1850, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wastebasket

Dictionary Entries near wastebasket


waste away

waste bank


waste bin


waste bowl

Statistics for wastebasket

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wastebasket

The first known use of wastebasket was in 1850

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!