[ gahr-bij ]
See synonyms for garbage on
  1. discarded animal and vegetable matter, as from a kitchen; refuse.

  2. any matter that is no longer wanted or needed; trash.

  1. a bin or other receptacle for discarded matter, especially kitchen waste; garbage can: Hey, who threw my leftover pizza in the garbage?

  2. anything that is contemptibly worthless, inferior, or vile: There's nothing but garbage on TV tonight.

  3. worthless talk; lies; foolishness.

  4. Informal. any unnecessary item added to something else, as for appearance only; garnish: I'll have an Old Fashioned, but without the garbage.

  5. useless artificial satellites or parts of rockets floating in space, as satellites that are no longer transmitting information or rocket boosters jettisoned in flight.

  6. Computers. meaningless or unwanted data: That program was not properly debugged and produced nothing but garbage.

Origin of garbage

First recorded in 1400–50; Middle English garbage, gabage “discarded parts of butchered fowls; entrails of fowls used for human food”; compare with Middle English garbelage “removal of refuse from spices,” Middle English garbelure “refuse found in spices,” and Old French garbage (also jarbage ) “tax on sheaves of grain,” but the shift of sense here is unclear; further origin uncertain; see also garble, -age

Other words for garbage

Words Nearby garbage Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use garbage in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for garbage


/ (ˈɡɑːbɪdʒ) /

  1. worthless, useless, or unwanted matter

  2. Also called: rubbish discarded or waste matter; refuse

  1. computing invalid data

  2. informal nonsense

Origin of garbage

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