Meaning of WASTE in English


I. ˈwāst noun

Etymology: Middle English waste, wast; in sense 1, from Anglo-French wast, from wast, gast, guast, adjective, desolate, waste, from Latin vastus; in other senses, from Middle English wasten to waste — more at vast

Date: 13th century


a. : a sparsely settled or barren region : desert

b. : uncultivated land

c. : a broad and empty expanse (as of water)

2. : the act or an instance of wasting : the state of being wasted


a. : loss through breaking down of bodily tissue

b. : gradual loss or decrease by use, wear, or decay


a. : damaged, defective, or superfluous material produced by a manufacturing process: as

(1) : material rejected during a textile manufacturing process and used usually for wiping away dirt and oil

cotton waste

(2) : scrap

(3) : an unwanted by-product of a manufacturing process, chemical laboratory, or nuclear reactor

toxic waste

hazardous waste

nuclear waste

b. : refuse from places of human or animal habitation: as

(1) : garbage , rubbish

(2) : excrement — often used in plural

(3) : sewage

c. : material derived by mechanical and chemical weathering of the land and moved down sloping surfaces or carried by streams to the sea

II. verb

( wast·ed ; wast·ing )

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French waster, gaster, from Latin vastare, from vastus desolate, waste

Date: 13th century

transitive verb

1. : to lay waste ; especially : to damage or destroy gradually and progressively

reclaiming land wasted by strip-mining

2. : to cause to shrink in physical bulk or strength : emaciate , enfeeble

a body wasted by disease

3. : to wear away or diminish gradually : consume


a. : to spend or use carelessly : squander

waste valuable resources

b. : to allow to be used inefficiently or become dissipated

a writer wasting her talent

5. : kill ; also : to injure severely

intransitive verb

1. : to lose weight, strength, or vitality — often used with away

was wasting away from illness


a. : to become diminished in bulk or substance

b. : to become consumed

3. : to spend money or consume property extravagantly or improvidently

Synonyms: see ravage

- waste one's breath

III. adjective

Etymology: Middle English waste, wast, from Anglo-French wast

Date: 14th century



(1) : being wild and uninhabited : desolate

(2) : arid , empty

b. : not cultivated : not productive

2. : being in a ruined or devastated condition


[ waste (I)]

a. : discarded as worthless, defective, or of no use : refuse

waste material

b. : excreted from or stored in inert form in a living body as a byproduct of vital activity

waste products


[ waste (I)]

: serving to conduct or hold refuse material

a waste barrel

specifically : carrying off superfluous water

a waste drain

5. : wasted 4

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.