The word "waste" is similar to the word "garbage" when it’s used as a noun.

  • There’s some waste in the trash can.
  • Human waste should never get into the water supply.
  • Don’t let that food go to waste.

If something is not used completely, wisely, or properly, we say that it’s a "waste."

  • All of our effort has been a complete waste.
  • HIs life is a waste.
  • Never let your education go to waste.
  • Your mind will go to waste if it’s not used.
  • What a waste!

In these sentences, "wasted" is an adjective:

  • Prisons are full of people with wasted lives.
  • There’s a lot of wasted food in the dumpster behind the grocery store.
  • He’s so wasted. (This is kind of an expression. It means that he’s really drunk or high on drugs.)

In these sentences, "waste" is a verb:

  • Angela wasted two years with Tony before she finally decided to end their relationship.
  • The money we spent on this furniture was wasted. It’s already falling apart.
  • Rick wasted his money on casinos and fancy cars. Now he has nothing.
  • Don’t waste natural resources such as water and land. They’re too valuable.

waste Don’t waste the Earth!

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

This page was first published on July 2, 2012. It was updated on March 26, 2015.