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Words nearby dumpster fire
What does dumpster fire mean?
Dumpster fire is a negative slang term for a situation that’s completely disastrous.
It typically implies that such a situation is out of control and is very unlikely to be fixed. It’s often used to refer to situations that are disastrous due to extreme incompetence or negligence.
The term can also be applied to people, groups, or things that are in the midst of utter chaos or irredeemable failure, as in They haven’t won a single game—they’re a complete dumpster fire this year. It’s especially used in a mocking way.
A literal dumpster fire is often caused accidentally, and the same goes for the figurative sense of the term—it’s usually used to refer to disastrous situations that weren’t intended to be that way. Some dumpster fires are self-contained, while others can spread to things around them (this also holds true for both the literal and figurative senses of the term).
The slang sense of dumpster fire implies that the situation was bad to begin with (a pile of garbage) and has now become even worse (a pile of garbage on fire). This might also imply that it’s not worth fixing.
Example: Poor attendance, technical difficulties, offensive gaffes, and food poisoning—the conference was a dumpster fire.
Where does dumpster fire come from?
The first records of the phrase dumpster fire referring to a literal fire in a dumpster come from the 1950s, but its literal sense is not a common term like forest fire or house fire. The name of the large trash container we now call a dumpster was originally a trademarked term. It was introduced in the 1930s by the Dempster Brothers Company as the Dempster Dumpster. The origin of the slang use of dumpster fire is unknown, but it began to gain popularity around the late 2000s.
Dumpster fire can be used to refer to people (such as a scandal-causing politician), things (such as a particularly inept sports team), or situations (such as a failing business’s finances). The term is used negatively to indicate that something is a catastrophic mess that is getting more and more out of control. Dumpster fire is similar to the slang term train wreck in that some people get morbid enjoyment out of watching the disaster get worse.
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How is dumpster fire used in real life?
The slang use of dumpster fire is always used very negatively. It’s often used in a mocking way.
I just voted. Felt a tiny endorphin rush. Like I actually did something about the hot mess inside of a dumpster fire inside of a train wreck (to quote the eloquent @jaketapper) that we happen to be in. A highly recommended therapy regimen. #Vote
— Kim Wehle (@kimwehle) October 15, 2020
MAYBE if we combine the Jets and Giants to make one New York Giant Jets, we’ll still be a dumpster fire, but bigger.
— joanna breen (@meanjobreen) September 15, 2020
This semester is a dumpster fire where I feel like I’m learning absolutely nothing
— Laika Leanne (@LaikaLeanne) September 17, 2020
Try using dumpster fire!
Which of the following words is a synonym of dumpster fire?
Example sentences from the Web for dumpster fire
It goes without saying that most of us are more than happy to see 2020 come to an end, but even this dumpster fire of a year could not extinguish the will to fight for a better life.
"That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck," CNN anchor Jake Tapper said in response to Tuesday's event.Pundits react to a chaotic debate: "What a dark event we just witnessed"|Fadel Allassan|September 30, 2020|Axios
But what is there more irresponsible than playing with the fire of an imagined civil war in the France of today?Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President|Pierre Assouline|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The cameraman was reporting on the factory catching fire when the inevitable happened.
Lady Edith is so sad that her sadness nearly set the whole damned house on fire.‘Downton Abbey’ Review: A Fire, Some Sex, and Sad, Sad Edith|Kevin Fallon|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Maybe Mary is being more realistic about a second marriage—but is it too much to ask for a little fire?
A fire that he insists is only picking up pace, according to top-secret intelligence briefings.
"A camp-fire would hardly flash and die out like that, Sarge," he answered thoughtfully.
She got up and stood in front of the fire, having her hand on the chimney-piece and looking down at the blaze.Confidence|Henry James
The fire had been heaped over with earth—to screen it from prying eyes, I suppose, while the good work went on.
But, as the keel of the boats touched bottom, each boat-load dashed into the water and then into the enemy's fire.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I|Ian Hamilton
The men, whose poniards his sword parried, had recourse to fire-arms, and two pistols were fired at him.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter