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



    BrE BrE//weɪst//
    ; NAmE NAmE//weɪst//
    Waste and pollution
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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] (also 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) Wordfinderdrain, dump, effluent, exhaust, fly-tip, incinerator, landfill, rubbish, sewage, waste See related entries: Waste and pollution
  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. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old Northern French wast(e) (noun), waster (verb), based on Latin vastus ‘unoccupied, uncultivated’.Extra examples If nobody comes all this food will go to waste. Industrialized countries continue to export their waste. More people are dumping waste illegally. The river was used for years as an industrial waste dump. The whole thing has been a complete waste of time. Three quarters of all construction waste was recycled. Tonnes of waste are produced every year. Try to avoid unnecessary waste. a ban on waste imports a criminal waste of public money a dump containing hazardous waste a tragic waste of human life a waste of energy/​resources a waste processing plant an incinerator for burning hospital waste areas contaminated by industrial waste facilities for processing radioactive waste new regulations on the feeding of slaughterhouse waste to cattle technology to convert solid waste into renewable energy the best solutions for managing waste the frozen wastes of Antarctica the highly expensive task of cleaning up toxic waste the vast amounts of electronic waste being shipped to developing countries A removable hatch allows access to the waste pipes. Around four million tons of industrial waste are disposed of each year. I hate to see good food go to waste. The report is critical of the department’s waste of resources. These meetings are a complete waste of time. They believe the statue is a waste of taxpayers’ money. the disposal of toxic/​radioactive wastesIdioms (informal) a person who is useless or no good at anything
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: waste