Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “waste”

waste

noun uk   /weɪst/ us  

waste noun (BAD USE)

B1 [S or U] an unnecessary or wrong use of money, substances, time, energy, abilities, etc.: That meeting achieved absolutely nothing - it was a complete waste of time. She's been unemployed for two years and it's such a waste of her talents. My mother couldn't bear waste - she always made us eat everything on our plates. go to waste to not be used, eaten, etc.: "Go on, finish off this tart, Paul." "Well, it seems a shame to let it go to waste."

waste noun (UNWANTED MATTER)

B1 [C or U] unwanted matter or material of any type, especially what is left after useful substances or parts have been removed: This city produces 20 million tons of household waste each year. He opposes any kind of nuclear waste being dumped at sea. Millions of gallons of untreated human waste (= excrement) flow into the river every day. Oil spills are common, as is the dumping of toxic industrial wastes. The Japanese recycle more than half of their waste paper.

waste noun (EMPTY GROUND)

waste ground an area of ground in or near a city that is not built on, used to grow crops, or used in any way: His body had been dumped in an area of waste ground just outside the city.
See also
wastes [plural] large areas of land that are not used to grow crops and have few living animals or plants: the Arctic wastes of northern Siberia

waste

verb [T] uk   /weɪst/ us  

waste verb [T] (USE BADLY)

B1 to use too much of something or use something badly when there is a limited amount of it: You waste a lot of water by having a bath instead of a shower. Come on, let's get started - we've wasted enough time already. Don't waste your money on me, love, keep it for yourself.

waste verb [T] (KILL)

US slang to kill someone
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of waste from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of waste?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “waste” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

debut

the occasion when someone performs or presents something to the public for the first time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More