Definition of garbage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡɑːbɪdʒ/


[mass noun] chiefly North American
1Rubbish or waste, especially domestic refuse: garbage littered the estate [as modifier]: a garbage dump
More example sentences
  • Americans are right to refuse truckloads of garbage that contain biomedical waste and radioactive material.
  • It has a chronic waste problem with garbage and sewerage littering the edges of the coral reef that forms the island.
  • People living along the river banks admit that they always dump the waste into the river as there is no garbage dump in the neighborhood.
rubbish, refuse, domestic refuse, waste, waste material, debris, detritus, litter, junk, scrap, discarded matter;
filth, swill, muck, dross;
scraps, scourings, leftovers, remains, slops;
North American  trash;
Australian/New Zealand  mullock
informal drek, dreck
British informal grot, gash
Archaeology  debitage
rare draff, raffle, raff, cultch, orts
1.1Worthless or meaningless material or ideas; rubbish: a store full of overpriced garbage
More example sentences
  • I figured this idea was garbage, and that he was too much of an egomaniac to base his movies on anyone else's work but his.
  • Try to copy a short-cut with a right click, and you'll get meaningless garbage.
  • It took an awfully long time, though, and my computer is full of garbage.
1.2 Computing Unwanted data in a computer’s memory.
Example sentences
  • What will double is all the garbage we store on our computers, which is to say not much of real value.
  • It wastes a portion of our lives to filter through the computer garbage.
  • We ran Mailwasher Pro to filter out the garbage in the nine e-mail accounts we check from that workstation, then ran NEO.


garbage in, garbage out

Used to express the idea that in computing and other fields, incorrect or poor-quality input will produce faulty output.
Example sentences
  • First, the project suffered from GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.
  • It's like they say about computers: garbage in, garbage out.
  • Like most things in life, the rule is GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'offal'): from Anglo-Norman French, of unknown ultimate origin.

  • A word probably borrowed from Old French that originally meant ‘offal or giblets’. These days its main modern use of ‘rubbish, refuse’ is commoner in American than in British English, but this sense goes back to the 16th century. In computing the saying garbage in, garbage out (often abbreviated as GIGO) is used to state the fact that incorrect or poor-quality input is bound to produce faulty output.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: gar|bage

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