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[ruhb-ish] /ˈrʌb ɪʃ/
worthless, unwanted material that is rejected or thrown out; debris; litter; trash.
nonsense, as in writing or art:
sentimental rubbish.
Origin of rubbish
1350-1400; Middle English rubbes, rob(b)ous < ?; cf. rubble
2. rot, balderdash, drivel, bosh. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for rubbish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He began to rebuild the palace and ordered that the rubbish be removed from the temples.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • It seemed to her that even Enoch might take the hint, and clear away his rubbish.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • That is all rubbish,” he said; “people ought to stick to their own country.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • As he left the dining-room he stumbled over a heap of rubbish in the passage.

  • Dirty finger-prints were on the hall-windows, flue and rubbish on its unwashed boards.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
British Dictionary definitions for rubbish


worthless, useless, or unwanted matter
discarded or waste matter; refuse
foolish words or speech; nonsense
(transitive) (informal) to criticize; attack verbally
Word Origin
C14 robys, of uncertain origin
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 rubbish

c.1400, robous, from Anglo-French rubouses (late 14c.), of unknown origin. No apparent cognates in Old French; apparently somehow related to rubble (see OED). Spelling with -ish is from late 15c. The verb sense of "disparage, criticize harshly" is first attested 1953 in Australian and New Zealand slang. Related: Rubbished; rubbishing.

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



Something of inferior quality; nonsense (1600+)

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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Idioms and Phrases with rubbish
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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