Share this entry

Share this page

discard

Syllabification: dis·card

Definition of discard in English:

verb

Pronunciation: /diˈskärd
 
/
[with object]
1Get rid of (someone or something) as no longer useful or desirable: Hilary bundled up the clothes she had discarded
More example sentences
  • If this week's insights aren't useful, discard them.
  • The next time you go out shopping, you can discard the plastic carry bag and arm yourself with a jute bag instead.
  • Leave overnight to drip through, then remove the jelly bag, discard the contents and leave to soak in cold water while you finish the jelly.
Synonyms
dispose of, throw away/out, get rid of, toss out, jettison, scrap, dispense with, cast aside/off, throw on the scrapheap;
reject, repudiate, abandon, drop, have done with, shed
informal chuck, dump, ditch, junk, trash, deep-six
1.1(In bridge, whist, and similar card games) play (a card that is neither of the suit led nor a trump), when one is unable to follow suit.
Example sentences
  • A player who cannot follow suit is free to trump the trick or discard an unwanted card.
  • After discarding eight cards, the starter leads to the first trick.
  • The dealer creates a Discard pile by discarding the top card of the deck face up.

noun

Pronunciation: /ˈdisˌkärd
 
/
Back to top  
1A person or thing rejected as no longer useful or desirable.
Example sentences
  • Caught by bottom-trawling, which causes damage to the seabed, and is part of a complex mixed fishery (like cod), and so discards are a problem.
  • ‘It has shown a lot of potential in reducing discards, whilst at the same time maintaining good quantities of prawns and we will looking at using the design on our boats on a permanent basis,’ he said.
  • The industry is advocating an alternative policy based on technical conservation measures, closed areas, reduction of discards and strict but even handed enforcement.
1.1(In bridge, whist, and similar card games) a card played which is neither of the suit led nor a trump, when one is unable to follow suit.
Example sentences
  • If this happens while more than one player requires cards, all the discards are shuffled to form a new stock to deal from.
  • Ace discards are displayed separately from the central discard pile, so that all can see how many Aces have appeared.
  • If 2 or more players play discards to a trick that are the same denomination, suits come into play.

Origin

late 16th century (originally in the sense 'reject (a playing card)'): from dis- (expressing removal) + the noun card1.

More
  • card from (Late Middle English):

    A medieval word that comes via French carte from Latin charta ‘papyrus leaf or paper’, the source of chart (late 16th century), and charter (Middle English). Its first recorded sense was ‘playing card’, source of many expressions we use today. To have a card up your sleeve is to have a plan or asset that you are keeping secret until you need it. If someone holds all the cards in a situation, they are in a very strong position, just like a card player who has a hand guaranteed to win. Someone who is secretive and cautious about their plans or activities might be said to be keeping their cards close to their chest. The image here is of a card player trying to prevent the other players from looking at their hand. If you play your cards right you make the best use of your assets and opportunities to ensure you get what you want, whereas to lay your cards on the table is to be completely open and honest in saying what your intentions are. Rather different from the above expressions is on the cards (in the US, in the cards), meaning ‘possible or likely’. The cards being referred to here are ones used for fortune-telling.

    In Britain a person unlucky enough to get or be given their cards is sacked from their job. The cards referred to are the National Insurance details and other documents that were formerly retained by the employer during a person's employment. A politician who is said to play the race card exploits the issue of race or racism for their own ends. The expression originates in a letter written by Lord Randolph Churchill ( 1849–95) in 1886 on the question of Irish Home Rule. Referring to the Orange Order of Protestant Loyalists, he said that ‘the Orange card would be the one to play’.

    Charles Dickens ( 1812–70) was fond of using card in the sense ‘an odd or eccentric person’, and his Sketches by Boz ( 1836) provides the first written use. It comes from sure card, meaning a person who was sure to succeed. Discard (late 16th century) was originally used in relation to rejecting a playing card.

Derivatives

discardable

1
Pronunciation: /disˈkärdəbəl/
adjective
Example sentences
  • The evenings probably weren't all that unlike the other readings, except that the material was probably more instantly accessible, and, arguably, discardable.
  • But essentially if something has no impact whatsoever on your existence and there is no way of proving its existence, then it's discardable in all ethical and philosophical terms.
  • Just because you don't fall into this particular line, or know a few exceptions personally, doesn't mean it's completely discardable.

Definition of discard in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…