AskDefine | Define rubbish

Dictionary Definition



1 worthless material that is to be disposed of [syn: trash, scrap]
2 nonsensical talk or writing [syn: folderol, tripe, trumpery, trash, wish-wash, applesauce, codswallop] v : attack strongly

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. In the context of "UK|colloquial": Exceedingly bad; awful; terrible; crap.
    This has been a rubbish day, and it's about to get worse: my mother-in-law is coming to stay.


  1. In the context of "UK|colloquial": Expresses that something is exceedingly bad, terrible or awful.
    The one day I actually practice my violin, the teacher cancels the lesson.
    Aw, rubbish! Though at least this means you have time to play football...


  1. Garbage, junk, refuse, waste.
    The rubbish is collected every Thursday in Gloucester, but on Wednesdays in Cheltenham.
  2. Nonsense.
    Everything the teacher said during that lesson was rubbish. How can she possibly think that a bass viol and a cello are the same thing?


  • see

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

Waste, is an unwanted or undesired material or substance. It is also referred to as rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk depending upon the type of material and the regional terminology. In living organisms, waste relates to unwanted substances or toxins that are expelled from them.
Waste management is the human control of the collection, treatment and disposal of different wastes. This is in order to reduce the negative impacts waste has on environment and society.
Waste is directly linked to the human development, both technologically and socially. The composition of different wastes have varied over time and location. With industrial development and innovation being directly linked to waste materials. Examples of this include plastics and nuclear technology. Some components of waste have economical value and can be recycled once correctly recovered.
Biodegradable waste such as food waste or sewage, is broken down naturally by microorganisms either aerobically or anaerobically. If the disposal of biodegradable waste is not controlled it can cause a number of wider problems including contributing to the release of greenhouse gases and can impact upon human health via encouragement of pathogens.
It is difficult to define specifically what a waste is. Items that some people discard have value to others. It is widely recognised that waste materials are a valuable resource, whilst there is debate as to how this value is best realised. Governments need to define what waste is in order that it can be safely and legally managed. Different definitions need to be combined in order to ensure the safe and legal disposal of the waste.

Environmental impact

Many different types of waste have negative impacts upon the wider environment.
Waste pollution is considered a serious threat by many and can broadly be defined as any pollution associated with waste and waste management practices. Typical materials that are found in household waste which have specific environmental impacts with them include biodegradable wastes, batteries, aerosols, oils, acids and fluorescent tubes.
As a nation, Americans generate more waste than any other nation in the world with 4.5 pounds of municipal solid waste (MSW) per person per day, 55 percent of which is contributed as residential garbage. The remaining 45 percent of waste in the U.S.'s ‘waste stream' comes from manufacturing, retailing, and commercial trade in the U.S. economy .
Biodegradable waste is of specific concern as breaks down in landfills to form methane, a potent greenhouse gas. If this gas is not prevented from entering the atmosphere, by implication, it contributes to climate change.
Littering can be considered the most visible form of solid waste pollution. The act of littering for the most part constitutes disposing of waste inappropriately, typically in public places. Littering itself may or may not be an intentional action.
Other forms of pollution associated with waste materials include illegal dumping and leaching. Illegal dumping of flytipping often involves unregulated disposal of materials on private or public land. Remoted sites with road access coupled with limited surveillance often provides the perfect opportunity for this form of dumping which often goes unpunished and leaves others (such as the community or developer) to properly dispose of the waste.
Leaching is a process by which contaminants from solid waste enter soil and often ground water systems contaminating them.


The European Union defines waste as an object the holder discards, intends to discard or is required to discard is waste under the Waste Framework Directive (European Directive 75/442/EC as amended). Once a substance or object has become waste, it will remain waste until it has been fully recovered and no longer poses a potential threat to the environment or to human health."'
The UK's Environmental Protection Act 1990 indicated waste includes any substance which constitutes a scrap material, an effluent or other unwanted surplus arising from the application of any process or any substance or article which requires to be disposed of which has been broken, worn out, contaminated or otherwise spoiled; this is supplemented with anything which is discarded otherwise dealt with as if it were waste shall be presumed to be waste unless the contrary is proved. This definition was amended by the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 defining waste as:
"any substance or object which the producer or the person in possession of it, discards or intends or is required to discard but with exception of anything excluded from the scope of the Waste Directive".


There is a cultural dimension to waste. Wasting time, money, or food involves moral judgements that carry a great deal of weight in human interaction. Attitudes to this wastage differ between different societies.
For example, food may be wasted in one part of the world while there may be famine elsewhere. Chefs from a particular culinary tradition may prize cuts of meat that chefs in other traditions will dispose of. A parent may regard a child's career in a rock band as a waste of their education, though this opinion may not necessarily be shared by the child. The frivolous expenditure of money may be described as "wasting money" independently of the economic underpinning of the transactions concerned.
rubbish in Arabic: قمامة
rubbish in Guarani: Yty
rubbish in Aymara: T'una
rubbish in Bulgarian: Боклук
rubbish in Czech: Odpad
rubbish in Welsh: Sbwriel
rubbish in Danish: Affald
rubbish in German: Abfall
rubbish in Spanish: Basura
rubbish in Esperanto: Rubo
rubbish in Persian: زباله
rubbish in French: Déchet
rubbish in Galician: Lixo
rubbish in Korean: 쓰레기
rubbish in Croatian: Otpad
rubbish in Indonesian: Sampah
rubbish in Italian: Rifiuti
rubbish in Hebrew: פסולת
rubbish in Lombard: Rumenta
rubbish in Hungarian: Hulladék
rubbish in Dutch: Afval (vuilnis)
rubbish in Japanese: 廃棄物
rubbish in Norwegian: Avfall
rubbish in Norwegian Nynorsk: Søppel
rubbish in Polish: Odpady
rubbish in Portuguese: Resíduo
rubbish in Quechua: Q'upa
rubbish in Russian: Мусор
rubbish in Simple English: Waste
rubbish in Slovak: Odpad
rubbish in Slovenian: Odpadek
rubbish in Serbian: Отпад
rubbish in Serbo-Croatian: Otpad
rubbish in Finnish: Roska
rubbish in Swedish: Avfall
rubbish in Thai: ขยะมูลฝอย
rubbish in Turkish: Çöp
rubbish in Ukrainian: Відходи
rubbish in Venetian: Scoazse
rubbish in Yiddish: מיסט
rubbish in Contenese: 垃圾
rubbish in Chinese: 垃圾

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absurdity, afterglow, afterimage, amphigory, attack, babble, babblement, bad-mouth, balance, balderdash, baloney, bibble-babble, bilge, blabber, blather, bombast, bosh, bric-a-brac, bull, bullshit, bunk, bunkum, butt, butt end, candle ends, castaway, castoff, cattle, chaff, chicken feed, chickenshit, clamjamfry, claptrap, clobber, crap, criticize, debris, derelict, destroy, details, detritus, discard, dogie, double-talk, dregs, dregs of society, drivel, drool, dross, dust, end, eyewash, fag end, fiddle-faddle, fiddledeedee, filings, flapdoodle, flotsam, flotsam and jetsam, flummery, folderol, fossil, foundling, fragments, froth, fudge, fustian, gabble, galimatias, gammon, garbage, gibber, gibberish, gibble-gabble, gimcrackery, gobbledygook, hocus-pocus, hogwash, hokum, holdover, hooey, humbug, husks, jabber, jargon, jetsam, jump all over, jump on, junk, kelter, knickknackery, lagan, leavings, lees, leftovers, litter, lumber, malarkey, minutiae, moonshine, mumbo jumbo, narrishkeit, niaiserie, nonsense, odds and ends, offal, offscourings, offscum, orphan, orts, pack of nonsense, palaver, pan, pap, parings, peanuts, piffle, poppycock, prate, prattle, raff, rags, rant, refuse, reject, rejects, relics, remainder, remains, remnant, residue, residuum, rest, riffraff, rigamarole, rigmarole, roach, rodomontade, rot, rubble, ruins, rump, sawdust, scourings, scrap, scraps, scum, shadow, shavings, shoddy, skimble-skamble, slop, small beer, small change, sordes, straw, stubble, stuff and nonsense, stultiloquence, stump, survival, sweepings, swinish multitude, tommyrot, trace, trash, trifles, trivia, truck, trumpery, twaddle, twattle, twiddle-twaddle, vaporing, vermin, vestige, waffling, waif, waifs and strays, waste, wastrel
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