Meaning of WASTE in English

WASTE

I. waste 1 S2 W3 /weɪst/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ wastage , ↑ waste , ↑ wastefulness , ↑ waster , ↑ wastrel ; adjective : ↑ waste , ↑ wasteful , ↑ wasted , ↑ wasting ; verb : ↑ waste ; adverb : ↑ wastefully ]

[ Sense 1-5: Date: 1200-1300 ; Origin: ⇨ ↑ waste 2 ]

[ Sense 6: Date: 1100-1200 ; Language: Old North French ; Origin: wast , from wast (adjective); ⇨ ↑ waste 3 ]

1 . BAD USE [singular, uncountable] when something such as money or skills are not used in a way that is effective, useful, or sensible

waste of

Being unemployed is such a waste of your talents.

Many believe that state aid is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

What a waste of all that good work!

excessive waste in state spending

2 . go to waste if something goes to waste, it is not used:

Don’t let all this food go to waste.

3 . be a waste of time/money/effort etc to be not worth the time, money etc that you use because there is little or no result:

We should never have gone – it was a total waste of time.

4 . UNWANTED MATERIALS [uncountable] unwanted materials or substances that are left after you have used something:

The emphasis now is on recycling waste.

⇨ ↑ nuclear waste , ↑ toxic waste

5 . a waste of space spoken someone who has no good qualities

6 . LAND wastes [plural] literary a large area of land where there are very few people, plants, or animals

wastes of

the icy wastes of Antarctica

icy/frozen/snowy etc wastes

⇨ ↑ waste ground , ↑ wasteland

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 4)

■ verbs

▪ recycle waste

How much of our household waste is recycled?

▪ dispose of waste

environmentally friendly ways to dispose of waste

▪ dump waste

They were fined for illegally dumping waste.

▪ incinerate waste (=burn it)

For many years, solid waste was incinerated.

▪ reprocess waste (=treat radioactive waste so that it can be used again)

The plant reprocesses nuclear waste.

■ adjectives

▪ household/domestic waste

Newspapers and magazines make up 10% of household waste.

▪ industrial/chemical waste

pollution caused by industrial waste

▪ hazardous/toxic waste

the illegal dumping of hazardous waste

▪ radioactive/nuclear waste

plans for the safe transportation of radioactive waste

▪ organic waste (=waste from plants, fruits, and vegetables)

Organic waste can be composted to make garden fertilizer.

▪ human waste (=from people going to the toilet)

The prison was full of the smell of human waste.

■ waste + NOUN

▪ a waste pipe

a washing machine waste pipe

• • •

THESAURUS

▪ rubbish especially British English things that people throw away, such as old food, dirty paper etc:

People are being encouraged to recycle their household rubbish.

|

the rubbish bin

▪ garbage/trash American English rubbish:

The garbage is collected every Tuesday.

|

There were piles of trash in the backyard.

|

a black plastic garbage bag

▪ refuse formal rubbish:

The strike has disrupted refuse collection.

|

It’s a site which is used for domestic refuse.

▪ litter empty bottles, pieces of paper etc that people have dropped on the ground:

Parents should teach children not to drop litter.

|

There was a lot of litter on the beach.

▪ waste rubbish, or materials that need to be dealt with after they have been used in industrial processes:

nuclear waste

|

toxic waste

|

household waste

|

The company was fined for dumping toxic waste in the sea.

II. waste 2 S2 W3 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ wastage , ↑ waste , ↑ wastefulness , ↑ waster , ↑ wastrel ; adjective : ↑ waste , ↑ wasteful , ↑ wasted , ↑ wasting ; verb : ↑ waste ; adverb : ↑ wastefully ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old North French ; Origin: waster , from Latin vastare ; ⇨ ↑ devastate ]

1 . NOT USE SENSIBLY to use more money, time, energy etc than is useful or sensible:

Leaving the heating on all the time wastes electricity.

waste something on somebody/something

Don’t waste your money on that junk!

2 . NOT USE FULLY [usually passive] to not make full use of someone or something:

Hannah’s wasted in that clerical job.

His talents were being wasted as a lawyer.

3 . be wasted on somebody if something is wasted on someone, they do not understand how good or useful it is:

Her good advice was wasted on the children.

4 . waste your breath spoken to say something that has no effect:

Don’t try to reason with Paul – you’re wasting your breath.

5 . waste no time (in) doing something to do something as quickly as you can because it will help you:

He wasted no time in introducing himself.

6 . waste not, want not spoken used to say that if you use what you have carefully, you will still have some of it if you need it later

7 . HARM SOMEBODY American English informal to kill someone, severely injure them, or defeat them

waste away phrasal verb

to gradually become thinner and weaker, usually because you are ill

III. waste 3 W3 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ wastage , ↑ waste , ↑ wastefulness , ↑ waster , ↑ wastrel ; adjective : ↑ waste , ↑ wasteful , ↑ wasted , ↑ wasting ; verb : ↑ waste ; adverb : ↑ wastefully ]

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old North French ; Origin: wast , from Latin vastus ; ⇨ ↑ vast ]

1 . waste materials, substances etc are unwanted because the good part of them has been removed

2 . waste land is empty or not looked after by anyone

⇨ ↑ wasteland , ⇨ lay waste at ↑ lay 2 (11)

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.