[gahr-bij] /ˈgɑr bɪdʒ/

discarded animal and vegetable matter, as from a kitchen; refuse.
any matter that is no longer wanted or needed; trash.
anything that is contemptibly worthless, inferior, or vile:
There’s nothing but garbage on TV tonight.
worthless talk; lies; foolishness.
Slang. any unnecessary item added to something else, as for appearance only; garnish:
I’ll have an Old Fashioned, but without the garbage.
useless artificial satellites or parts of rockets floating in space, as satellites that are no longer transmitting information or rocket boosters jettisoned in flight.
Computers. meaningless or unwanted data:
That program was not properly debugged and produced nothing but garbage.
worthless, useless, or unwanted matter
Also called rubbish. discarded or waste matter; refuse
(computing) invalid data
(informal) nonsense

early 15c., “giblets of a fowl, waste parts of an animal,” later confused with garble in its sense of “siftings, refuse.” Perhaps some senses derive from Old French garbe “a bundle of sheaves, entrails,” from Proto-Germanic *garba- (cf. Dutch garf, German garbe “sheaf”), from PIE *ghrebh- “a handful, a grasp.” Sense of “refuse, filth” is first attested 1580s; used figuratively for “worthless stuff” from 1590s. Garbology “study of waste as a social science” is from 1976.


Related Terms

old cocker

[fr British dialect, ”grandfather, godfather”; the dated meaning of the first sense is actually ”master, governor,” often synonyms of ”father”]


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