[ dih-spoh-zuh-buh l ]
/ dɪˈspoʊ zə bəl /


designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up: disposable plastic spoons; a disposable cigarette lighter.
free for use; available: Every disposable vehicle was sent.


something disposable after a single use, as a paper cup, plate, or napkin.

Nearby words

  1. displode,
  2. displosion,
  3. displume,
  4. displuviate,
  5. disport,
  6. disposable goods,
  7. disposable income,
  8. disposable personal income,
  9. disposable soma theory,
  10. disposal

Origin of disposable

First recorded in 1645–55; dispose + -able

Related formsdis·pos·a·bil·i·ty, dis·pos·a·ble·ness, noundis·pos·a·bly, adverbnon·dis·pos·a·ble, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for disposable

British Dictionary definitions for disposable


/ (dɪˈspəʊzəbəl) /


designed for disposal after usedisposable cups
available for use if neededdisposable assets


something, such as a baby's nappy, that is designed for disposal
(plural) short for disposable goods
Derived Formsdisposability or disposableness, 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

Word Origin and History for disposable



1640s, "that may be done without;" see dispose + -able. Meaning "designed to be discarded after one use" is from 1943, originally of diapers, soon of everything; replaced throw-away (1928) in this sense. First recorded use of disposable income (preserving the older sense) is from 1948.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper