Definition of trash in English:

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Pronunciation: /traSH/


1chiefly North American Discarded matter; refuse.
Example sentences
  • Rinse containers well before discarding in the trash.
  • The sharp needle tips are collected inside the container and the remainder of the syringe barrel can be safely discarded in the trash.
  • Bacteria and fungi primarily break down the organic matter in the trash.
garbage, refuse, waste, litter, junk, debris, detritus, rubbish
1.1Cultural items, ideas, or objects of poor quality: if they read at all, they read trash
More example sentences
  • I don't subscribe to the view that readers in this market equate broadsheet with quality and tabloid with trash.
  • I'm also talking rip-offs, exploitation movies, mindless sequels, trash masquerading as quality.
  • In fact the idea of trash tabloids is just the opposite.
junk, dross, dreck, drivel, nonsense, trivia, pulp, pulp fiction, pap, garbage, rubbish
informal schlock
vulgar slang crap
1.2North American A person or people regarded as being of very low social standing: she would have been considered trash
More example sentences
  • If she lived in a small American town, we'd consider her trash.
  • When Eddy showed up at Sir Christopher's Cassandra had immediately sized her up as no good foreign trash and taken to making her education the worst possible.
  • Yet Shaft keeps on operating, pulling questionable legal tricks and using deceit and deception to fool the gangland trash of the streets.
scum, vermin, dregs of society, lowest of the low
informal scum of the earth, dirt, riffraff


[with object]
1 informal, chiefly North American Damage or wreck: my apartment’s been totally trashed
More example sentences
  • For a few minutes scores of protesters, wearing trademark black clothes and gas masks, trashed a branch of the Credito Italiano bank.
  • A note stuck into my seat told the story: some delivery truck had backed into it, knocking it over, trashing my trunk case, and most of the left side paint and turn signals.
  • Those who push to strip away the traditional protections of privacy may be trashing a prerequisite of personal freedom.
wreck, ruin, destroy, wreak havoc on, devastate;
vandalize, tear up, bust up, smash
informal total
1.1Discard: they trashed the tapes and sent her back into the studio
More example sentences
  • Americans trash 2 million tons of old computers and other forms of electronic waste annually.
  • At this moment, you are quite self-centered; you think of love as something you can get and trash anytime you want.
  • Unfortunately for McBride, he had upgraded the A room once already, but Cronin's new design necessitated trashing most of that work.
1.2 Computing Kill (a file or process) or wipe (a disk): she almost trashed the email window
More example sentences
  • None of those solutions trashes the email completely, but by setting it all aside, I can scan them all pretty quickly and spot any false positives.
  • That ignores the fact that most people won't opt-out, but will simply trash the email.
  • Now (after a couple months training it) anything Mail thinks is junk can be safely trashed automatically.
1.3 informal, chiefly North American Criticize severely: trade associations trashed the legislation as deficient
More example sentences
  • What if a critic trashes something that is really close to you?
  • Critics frequently trash hip hop because commercialism dominates the genre.
  • The critics trashed it, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music canceled it in mid-run.
criticize, lambaste, censure, attack, insult, abuse, malign, give a bad press to, condemn, flay, savage, pan, knock, take to pieces, take/pull apart, crucify, hammer, slam, bash, trash talk, roast, maul, rubbish, pummel
informal bad-mouth, bitch about
1.4 (as adjective trashed) Intoxicated with alcohol or drugs: there was pot, there was booze, but nobody really got trashed
More example sentences
  • So that's why I slept surprisingly well for a guy whose body was trashed with alcohol.
  • Bands got trashed there, rock stars hung out - even Keanu Reeves was spotted there.
  • Whose partner got trashed in the VIP area of Fabric nightclub and stripped off on the dance floor?
2Strip (sugar cane) of its outer leaves to ripen it faster.


Late Middle English: of unknown origin. The verb is first recorded (mid 18th century) in sense 2 of the verb; the other senses have arisen in the 20th century.

  • Popular culture is often called trashy (early 17th century), and this goes right back to the beginnings of trash's history—one of the first things that the word referred to was bad literature. It was originally a word for various kinds of refuse, including cuttings from a hedge, and domestic refuse became trash at the beginning of the 20th century. People have called others trash since the early 17th century—Shakespeare wrote in Othello ‘I do suspect this trash / To be a party in this injury’; and in the USA white trash (mid 19th century) is a derogatory term for poor white people living in the southern states. The verb is first recorded in the mid 18th century in the sense ‘strip (sugar canes) of their outer leaves to encourage faster ripening’; the other senses (‘vandalize’, ‘impair the quality of something’) date from the 20th century.

Words that rhyme with trash

abash, ash, Ashe, bash, brash, cache, calash, cash, clash, crash, dash, encash, flash, gnash, hash, lash, mash, Nash, panache, pash, plash, rash, sash, slash, smash, soutache, splash, stash, thrash

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trash

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