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noun Also called sanitary landfill.
  1. a low area of land that is built up from deposits of solid refuse in layers covered by soil.
  2. the solid refuse itself.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to create more usable land by this means.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make (an area of land) by means of a landfill.
  2. to use in a landfill: to landfill millions of tons of garbage each year.
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Origin of landfill

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; land + fill
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for landfill


    1. disposal of waste material by burying it under layers of earth
    2. (as modifier)landfill sites
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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 landfill


1916, from land (n.) + fill (n.). A euphemism for dump.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

landfill in Science


  1. A disposal site where solid waste, such as paper, glass, and metal, is buried between layers of dirt and other materials in such a way as to reduce contamination of the surrounding land. Modern landfills are often lined with layers of absorbent material and sheets of plastic to keep pollutants from leaking into the soil and water. Also called sanitary landfill
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.