waste

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English waste (noun, a waste), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wast, waste (a waste), from Old Frankish *wuasti, *wuosti (a waste) and *wōstin, *wōstinna (a waste, wasteland, desert), from Proto-Germanic *wōstī (a waste), *wōstinjō (a waste, wasteland), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (empty, wasted). Cognate with Old High German wuosti, wuasti ("a waste"; > Modern German Wüste), Old High German wuostinna (a desert, waste), Old English wēsten (a waste, wasteland). Non Germanic cognates include Latin vastus (waste, desert) and Albanian vjeshtë (autumn).

Noun[edit]

waste (countable and uncountable, plural wastes)

  1. A waste land; an uninhabited desolate region; a wilderness or desert.
  2. A place that has been laid waste or destroyed.
  3. A large tract of uncultivated land.
  4. A vast expanse of water.
  5. A disused mine or part of one.
  6. The action or progress of wasting; extravagant consumption or ineffectual use.
    That was a waste of time
    Her life seemed a waste
  7. Large abundance of something, specifically without it being used.
  8. Gradual loss or decay.
  9. A decaying of the body by disease; wasting away.
  10. (rare) Destruction or devastation caused by war or natural disasters; See "to lay waste"
  11. Excess of material, useless by-products or damaged, unsaleable products; garbage; rubbish.
  12. Excrement
    The cage was littered with animal waste
  13. (law) A cause of action which may be brought by the owner of a future interest in property against the current owner of that property to prevent the current owner from degrading the value or character of the property, either intentionally or through neglect.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English waste (adjective, waste), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wast (waste), from Old Frankish *wuasti, *wuosti (waste, empty), from Proto-Germanic *wōstijaz (wasted, abandoned, empty), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (empty, wasted). Cognate with Old High German wuosti, wuasti (waste, empty), Old Saxon wōsti (desolate), Old English wēste (waste, barren, desolate, empty).

Adjective[edit]

waste (comparative more waste, superlative most waste)

  1. (now rare) Uncultivated, uninhabited.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XIII:
      So whan Sir Galahad was departed frome the Castell of Maydyns he rode tyll he com to a waste forest [...].
  2. Barren; desert.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 255:
      For centuries the shrine at Mecca had been of merely local importance, far outshone by the Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem, whose cult Christians had in good measure renewed by their pilgrimage in honour of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, while leaving the actual site of the Jerusalem Temple dishonoured and waste.
  3. Rejected as being defective; eliminated as being worthless; produced in excess.
    • 2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, American Scientist: 
      Oxygen levels on Earth skyrocketed 2.4 billion years ago, when cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis: the ability to convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates and waste oxygen using solar energy.
  4. Superfluous; needless.
  5. Dismal; gloomy; cheerless.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      His heart became appalled as he gazed forward into the waste darkness of futurity.
  6. Unfortunate; disappointing.
Usage notes[edit]

Same meanings as wasted.

Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English wasten (to waste, lay waste), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French waster (to waste, devastate) (cf. also the variant gaster and French gâter from a related Old French word); the Anglo-Norman form waster was either from Old Frankish *wuastan, *wuostan, *wuostjan (to lay waste, devastate), from Proto-Germanic *wōstijaną (to waste), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (empty, wasted), or alternatively from Latin vastāre, present active infinitive of vastō and influenced by the Frankish; the English word was assisted by similarity to native Middle English westen ("to waste"; > English weest). Cognate with Old High German wuostan, wuastan, wuostjan ("to waste"; > Modern German wüsten), Old English wēstan (to lay waste, ravage).

Verb[edit]

waste (third-person singular simple present wastes, present participle wasting, simple past and past participle wasted)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To devastate or destroy.
    • Spenser
      Thou barren ground, whom winter's wrath hath wasted, / Art made a mirror to behold my plight.
    • Dryden
      The Tiber / Insults our walls, and wastes our fruitful grounds.
  2. (transitive) To wear away by degrees; to impair gradually; to diminish by constant loss; to use up; to consume; to spend; to wear out.
    • Bible, Numbers xiv. 33
      until your carcasses be wasted in the wilderness
    • Robertson
      Wasted by such a course of life, the infirmities of age daily grew on him.
  3. (transitive) To squander (money or resources) uselessly; to spend (time) idly.
    • Gray
      Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, / And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
    • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly): 
      A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. [] This set-up solves several problems […]. Stopping high-speed trains wastes energy and time, so why not simply slow them down enough for a moving platform to pull alongside?
    E. Kay (1822-1897), afterwards Lord Justice of Appeal, had rooms on the same staircase as myself, and we wasted a great deal of time together, both in term and in my second summer vacation. 1909. Francis Galton, Memories of my life, p. 69.
    We wasted millions of dollars and several years on that project.
  4. (transitive, slang) To kill; to murder.
  5. (intransitive) Gradually lose weight, weaken, become frail.
  6. (intransitive) To be diminished; to lose bulk, substance, strength, value etc. gradually.
    • Bible, 1 Kings xvii. 14
      The barrel of meal shall not waste.
  7. (law) To damage, impair, or injure (an estate, etc.) voluntarily, or by allowing the buildings, fences, etc., to fall into decay.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

waste

  1. singular past indicative and subjunctive of wassen