rub·​bish | \ ˈrə-bish How to pronounce rubbish (audio) , dialectal -bij \

Definition of rubbish

1 : useless waste or rejected matter : trash
2 : something that is worthless or nonsensical few real masterpieces are forgotten and not much rubbish survives— William Bridges-Adams

Other Words from rubbish

rubbishy \ ˈrə-​bə-​shē How to pronounce rubbish (audio) \ adjective

Examples of rubbish in a Sentence

Please, pick the rubbish up off the ground. I think what he says is absolute rubbish! “I'm sorry, but I had to do it.” “Rubbish!” The food at that restaurant is complete rubbish.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web The couple, picking through a wide swath of rubbish, said there aren’t as many trash bags on the beach, but there are a lot of masks. Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2021 While the driver had been using its lifting arms, there didn’t appear to be any rubbish extending from the top of the truck that would have caused interference. John Benson, cleveland, 14 Dec. 2021 Over the past four years, Reading, 27, has made rubbish her muse and medium, painting landscapes on more than 100 pieces of trash that she's found while hiking, climbing or paddling through 29 national parks. Eileen Finan,, 10 Dec. 2021 The first four minutes were complete rubbish on Wednesday night. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, 9 Dec. 2021 While Edith Schloss’s contemporaries bought washing machines and electric mixers on installment, her loft friends made things from scavenged rubbish thrown out by nearby factories. Max Holleran, The New Republic, 14 Dec. 2021 Many people work collecting rubbish for resale at the Matuail sanitary landfill, the largest waste disposal site in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 Just as the conclave began, Glasgow’s garbage workers went on strike, and rubbish piled up in the streets. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 7 Nov. 2021 Rome has been invaded by Gauls, Visigoths and vandals over the centuries, but the Eternal City is now grappling with a rampaging force of an entirely different sort: rubbish-seeking wild boars. Trisha Thomas, USA TODAY, 26 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for rubbish

Middle English robous

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best kitchen trash cans.

Learn More About rubbish

Time Traveler for rubbish

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near rubbish

rubbing varnish


rubbish bin

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rubbish

Last Updated

4 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Rubbish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for rubbish



English Language Learners Definition of rubbish

: things that are no longer useful or wanted and that have been thrown out : trash
: words or ideas that are foolish or untrue
: something that is worthless, unimportant, or of poor quality


rub·​bish | \ ˈrə-bish How to pronounce rubbish (audio) \

Kids Definition of rubbish

More from Merriam-Webster on rubbish

Nglish: Translation of rubbish for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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