Word of the Day: waste

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
November 6, 2015
 
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waste (noun, verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
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The word waste has several meanings. It can mean "to spend or use something without taking advantage of its full potential," or "to spend or use something recklessly." It may also refer to unwanted material or leftovers of certain processes, or even to garbage.
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Example sentences
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Trying to teach my cat to use the toilet turned out to be a waste of time.
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This job is beneath you. You're wasting your talent!
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Industrial waste is sometimes harmful to the environment and needs to be disposed of appropriately.
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Recycling is an efficient way to reduce household waste.
 
 
Words often used with waste
 

"A waste of money" is an expression that means that something is not worth what you spent. Example: "Lots of people join the gym in January and pay for a year's membership, but they only go a few times, so it's a waste of money."

"Go to waste" means that something is being wasted. Example: "French grocery stores have to give leftover food to charities so that it doesn't go to waste."

"Lay waste to something" is an expression meaning "destroy completely." Example: "The invading army laid waste to the city; it was in ruins when they left."

"Waste away" means to become weaker and thinner, often because someone is sick. Example: "It is difficult to work in a hospital and watch patients waste away despite our best efforts to cure them."

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Did you know?
 
While most countries are looking for ways to get rid of it, Norway is actually paying to import waste. And if you think this is a waste of money, you may want to reconsider. They are actually making even more money by burning it to produce energy.
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Other forms
 
wasteful (adjective), wasteable (adjective), wasteless (adjective)
 
Origin
 
Originally from Old North French, waste first appeared in Middle English between 1150 and 1200.
Additional Information
 
Waste has many other meanings. Check out the full definition to find out more!
 
See full definition
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Learn more about waste in our forums
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