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[gahr-bij] /ˈgɑr bɪdʒ/
discarded animal and vegetable matter, as from a kitchen; refuse.
any matter that is no longer wanted or needed; trash.
anything that is contemptibly worthless, inferior, or vile:
There's nothing but garbage on TV tonight.
worthless talk; lies; foolishness.
Slang. any unnecessary item added to something else, as for appearance only; garnish:
I'll have an Old Fashioned, but without the garbage.
useless artificial satellites or parts of rockets floating in space, as satellites that are no longer transmitting information or rocket boosters jettisoned in flight.
Computers. meaningless or unwanted data:
That program was not properly debugged and produced nothing but garbage.
Origin of garbage
1400-50; late Middle English: discarded parts of butchered fowls; compared with garbelage the removal of waste from spices (< Anglo-French, Old French; see garble, -age) or Old French garbage tax on sheaves of grain, though shift of sense, and form in first case, is unclear
2. litter, refuse, junk, rubbish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for garbage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Cleansing fires for that sort of garbage," he said finally.

  • He drained the bottle; then hurled it into the garbage pail with a resounding crash.

    The Doorway Evelyn E. Smith
  • A mound of garbage crowned with the dead body of a dog arrested us not.

    Falk Joseph Conrad
  • Describe the method used in his community in disposing of garbage.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • We then specified places at which garbage, etc., should be dumped.

    Policing the Plains R.G. MacBeth
British Dictionary definitions for garbage


worthless, useless, or unwanted matter
Also called rubbish. discarded or waste matter; refuse
(computing) invalid data
(informal) nonsense
Word Origin
C15: probably from Anglo-French garbelage removal of discarded matter, of uncertain origin; compare Old Italian garbuglio confusion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for garbage

early 15c., "giblets of a fowl, waste parts of an animal," later confused with garble in its sense of "siftings, refuse." Perhaps some senses derive from Old French garbe "a bundle of sheaves, entrails," from Proto-Germanic *garba- (cf. Dutch garf, German garbe "sheaf"), from PIE *ghrebh- "a handful, a grasp." Sense of "refuse, filth" is first attested 1580s; used figuratively for "worthless stuff" from 1590s. Garbology "study of waste as a social science" is from 1976.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for garbage



: She uses a lot of tricky garbage shots to win games and sets/ I call it a garbage movie


  1. Food or meals (1940s+ Hoboes & loggers)
  2. Anything inferior and worthless, esp a literary text or other artistic work; crap, junk: You call that piece of garbage a sonnet? (1592+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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