Definition of rubbish noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈrʌbɪʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrʌbɪʃ//
    [uncountable] Waste and pollution
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  1. 1  (especially British English) things that you throw away because you no longer want or need them a rubbish bag/bin a rubbish dump/heap/tip The streets were littered with rubbish. garden/household rubbish British/​Americanrubbish / garbage / trash / refuse Rubbish is the usual word in British English for the things that you throw away because you no longer want or need them. Garbage and trash are both used in North American English. Inside the home, garbage tends to mean waste food and other wet material, while trash is paper, cardboard and dry material. In British English, you put your rubbish in a dustbin in the street to be collected by the dustmen. In North American English, your garbage and trash goes in a garbage can/​trashcan in the street and is collected by garbage men/​collectors. Refuse is a formal word and is used in both British English and North American English. Refuse collector is the formal word for a dustman or garbage collector. Wordfinderdrain, dump, effluent, exhaust, fly-tip, incinerator, landfill, rubbish, sewage, waste CollocationsThe environmentEnvironmental damage cause/​contribute to climate change/​global warming produce pollution/​CO2/greenhouse (gas) emissions damage/​destroy the environment/​a marine ecosystem/​the ozone layer/​coral reefs degrade ecosystems/​habitats/​the environment harm the environment/​wildlife/​marine life threaten natural habitats/​coastal ecosystems/​a species with extinction deplete natural resources/​the ozone layer pollute rivers and lakes/​waterways/​the air/​the atmosphere/​the environment/​oceans contaminate groundwater/​the soil/​food/​crops log forests/​rainforests/​treesProtecting the environment address/​combat/​tackle the threat/​effects/​impact of climate change fight/​take action on/​reduce/​stop global warming limit/​curb/​control air/​water/​atmospheric/​environmental pollution cut/​reduce pollution/​greenhouse gas emissions offset carbon/​CO2 emissions reduce (the size of) your carbon footprint achieve/​promote sustainable development preserve/​conserve biodiversity/​natural resources protect endangered species/​a coastal ecosystem prevent/​stop soil erosion/​overfishing/​massive deforestation/​damage to ecosystems raise awareness of environmental issues save the planet/​the rainforests/​an endangered speciesEnergy and resources conserve/​save/​consume/​waste energy manage/​exploit/​be rich in natural resources dump/​dispose of hazardous/​toxic/​nuclear waste dispose of/​throw away litter/(especially British English) rubbish/(especially North American English) garbage/(North American English) trash/​sewage use/​be made from recycled/​recyclable/​biodegradable material recycle bottles/​packaging/​paper/​plastic/​waste promote/​encourage recycling/​sustainable development/​the use of renewable energy develop/​invest in/​promote renewable energy reduce your dependence/​reliance on fossil fuels get/​obtain/​generate/​produce electricity from wind, solar and wave power/​renewable sources build/​develop a (50-megawatt/​offshore) wind farm install/​be fitted with/​be powered by solar panels see also garbage, trash See related entries: Waste and pollution
  2. 2  (British English, informal) (also used as an adjective) something that you think is of poor quality I thought the play was rubbish! Do we have to listen to this rubbish music? They said I was a rubbish boss.
  3. 3  (British English, informal) comments, ideas, etc. that you think are stupid or wrong synonym nonsense Rubbish! You're not fat. You're talking a load of rubbish. It's not rubbish—it's true!
  4. Word Originlate Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French rubbous; perhaps related to Old French robe ‘spoils’; compare with rubble. The change in the ending was due to association with -ish. The verb (1950s) was originally Australian and New Zealand slang.Extra examples Don’t talk such rubbish! He’s clearing rubbish out of the attic. I forgot to put the rubbish out last night. Many critics see the paintings as worthless rubbish. Someone had dumped their rubbish by the road. The antique shop was just full of old rubbish. The film was absolute rubbish. The rubbish is collected on Tuesdays. There was rubbish strewn around everywhere. Throw the rubbish in the bin. What he said was just a load of old rubbish. the usual rubbish about his undiscovered talents How do you feel when critics say your work is a load of rubbish? I was told their new album’s complete rubbish. Methane gas from rubbish tips is a potentially valuable source of energy. Over a third of British household rubbish is packaging. Rubbish! You’re not fat! She’s always talking rubbish. That suggestion’s absolute rubbish. Then we were told a lot of rubbish about ‘leadership’ and ‘bonding’. We had some rubbish teachers at school. Why are you eating such rubbish?