[ verb dih-skahrd; noun dis-kahrd ]
/ verb dɪˈskɑrd; noun ˈdɪs kɑrd /
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See synonyms for: discard / discarded / discarding on Thesaurus.com

Definition of discard

verb (used with object)
to cast aside or dispose of; get rid of: to discard an old hat.
  1. to throw out (a card or cards) from one's hand.
  2. to play (a card, not a trump, of a different suit from that of the card led).
verb (used without object)
Cards. to discard a card or cards.
the act of discarding.
a person or thing that is cast out or rejected.
Cards. a card or cards discarded.
"Is" it time for a new quiz? "Are" you ready? Then prove your excellent skills on using "is" vs. "are."
Question 1 of 7
IS and ARE are both forms of which verb?

Origin of discard

First recorded in 1580–90; dis-1 + card1


dis·card·a·ble, adjectivedis·card·er, nounun·dis·card·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does discard mean?

To discard something is to dispose of it or get rid of it.

In card games, to discard a card is to get rid of it, such as by putting it in the discard pile. Discard can also be used as a noun referring to a card that has been discarded. It can also be used as a noun in a general way, but this is less common.

Example: You should have thought about fixing up that old chair instead of just discarding it.

Where does discard come from?

The first records of discard come from around the 1580s. It is formed from the noun card (and its use in the context of card games goes back at least to the 1590s). The prefix dis- is used to mean “away” and implies removal.

You can discard both physical and nonphysical things. You discard your trash. When you clean out your garage, you discard the old things you don’t use anymore. When you cook, you often discard scraps like onion skins. You can discard a bad idea or a first draft. You can even discard people, but this means that you reject them or stop having them be part of your life. The word often implies permanence—when you discard something, it’s usually gone forever. For this reason, it can imply that you should have cared more about it. Sometimes, there are better things to do with something than just discarding it. Instead of discarding leftover food, some restaurants donate it to food banks. Instead of discarding that first draft, you could revise it or rework it.

In card games like rummy, you discard the cards you don’t want or need (called discards) by placing them in the discard pile. In the context of cards, it is often pronounced as “DIS-card” (as opposed to di-SCARD).

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What are some other forms of discard?

  • discardable (adjective)
  • discarder (noun)
  • undiscardable (adjective)
  • undiscarded (adjective)

What are some synonyms for discard?

What are some words that often get used in discussing discard?

How is discard used in real life?

Discard is most often used to refer to casting aside or getting rid of something, especially permanently and without remorse.



Try using discard!

Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym for discard?

A. retain
B. dump
C. ditch
D. throw out

How to use discard in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for discard


verb (dɪsˈkɑːd)
(tr) to get rid of as useless or undesirable
cards to throw out (a card or cards) from one's hand
cards to play (a card not of the suit led nor a trump) when unable to follow suit
noun (ˈdɪskɑːd)
a person or thing that has been cast aside
cards a discarded card
the act of discarding

Derived forms of discard

discarder, noun
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