gar·​bage | \ ˈgär-bij How to pronounce garbage (audio) \

Definition of garbage

1a : food waste
b : discarded or useless material
b : inaccurate or useless data

Examples of garbage in a Sentence

The park was littered with garbage. Please take out the garbage. Raccoons were going through the garbage. Throw the can in the garbage. If you ask me, what he said is a bunch of garbage.
Recent Examples on the Web The nearly 13-minute recording shows a bulldozer moving rubble into a garbage truck and an excavator picking through the wreckage. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 One of the men, Pete Johnson, was away when the garbage truck arrived. New York Times, 4 May 2022 The driver of the garbage truck sustained minor injuries. John Spink, ajc, 29 Apr. 2022 Kollm drove a 2022 Mack garbage truck as he was headed eastbound on Interstate 490 when an unknown vehicle swerved in his lane and caused Kollm to lose control of the truck. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 12 Apr. 2022 Thanks to over-the-top creations for Emma Stone like a garbage-truck gown with a 40-foot train, Jenny Beavan won the Academy Award for best costume design for her work on Cruella at the 94th ceremony on March 27, 2022. Degen Pener, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Mar. 2022 Police arrived at the scene to find that a garbage truck had been crashed into by the family's pickup truck, Bay County Sheriff Troy R. Cunningham told the outlet. Maria Pasquini,, 24 Jan. 2022 The driver crossed the center line of the road and struck a garbage truck head-on, the statement said. Matt Yan,, 21 Jan. 2022 The 2016 study, which is cited regularly, depicted oceans in crisis, fouled by soda bottles, shopping bags and clothing fibers, with a garbage truck worth of plastic winding up in the water every minute. Ryan Dezember, WSJ, 2 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'garbage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of garbage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for garbage

Middle English, "poultry organs and body parts used for food, poultry refuse," borrowed from Anglo-French *garbage (implied in sergant garbagere "kitchen servant tasked with plucking and cleaning poultry"), of obscure origin

Note: On morphological, semantic, or chronological grounds unlikely to be related to Anglo-French garbeler, Middle English garbelen "to remove (impurities) from spices" (see garble entry 1) or to Middle French gaburge, grabuge "quarrel, brawl." The Anglo-French collocation sergant garbagere indicates currency of the word as early as 1318 (Household Ordinances of Edward II).

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The first known use of garbage was in the 15th century

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garbage can

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Garbage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for garbage


gar·​bage | \ ˈgär-bij How to pronounce garbage (audio) \

Kids Definition of garbage

1 : material (as waste food) that has been thrown out
2 : something that is worthless, useless, or untrue Don't watch garbage on television.

More from Merriam-Webster on garbage

Nglish: Translation of garbage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of garbage for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about garbage


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