American English

Definition of waste noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    not good use
  1. 1[uncountable, singular] waste (of something) the act of using something in a careless or unnecessary way, causing it to be lost or destroyed I hate unnecessary waste. It seems such a waste to throw good food away. I hate to see good food go to waste (= be thrown away). The report is critical of the department's waste of resources. What a waste of paper!
  2. 2[singular] a situation in which it is not worth spending time, money, etc. on something These meetings are a complete waste of time. They believe the statue is a waste of taxpayers' money.
  3. materials
  4. 3[uncountable] wastes [plural] materials that are no longer needed and are thrown away household/industrial waste toxic wastes waste disposal (= the process of getting rid of waste)
  5. 4(also waste matter) [uncountable] material that the body gets rid of as solid or liquid material The farmers use both animal and human waste as fertilizer.
  6. land
  7. 5wastes [plural] (formal) a large area of land where there are very few people, animals, or plants the frozen wastes of Siberia
  8. Idioms
    a waste of space (informal)
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    a person who is useless or no good at anything
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: waste