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waste - definition and synonyms


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noun waste pronunciation in British English /weɪst/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [singular/uncountable] the failure to use something valuable in an effective way, so that it does not produce the benefits that it could
    All this uneaten food – what a waste!
    a campaign to increase efficiency and reduce waste in government departments
    waste of: a waste of young talent
    There was growing opposition to the war and its senseless waste of life.
    go to waste (=be spoiled or thrown away): The cherries will just go to waste if we don’t pick them soon.
    1. a.
      [singular] a situation in which time, money, or energy is used without bringing any useful result
      a waste of time/money/effort etc: It’s a waste of time trying to get her to change her mind.
      They said a public enquiry would just be a waste of taxpayers’ money.
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] the useless materials, substances, or parts that are left after you use something
    A bill was introduced to clean up toxic wastes from local factories.
    a controversy over the storage of nuclear waste
    human waste (=substances that your body gets rid of when you go to the toilet)
    The process recycles domestic waste to produce fertilizer.
  3. 3
    [countable] [usually plural] a large area of empty land
    the desert’s sandy wastes



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