waste1 W3S2 [weıst] n
1¦(bad use)¦
2 go to waste
3 be a waste of time/money/effort etc
4¦(unwanted materials)¦
5 a waste of space
[Sense: 1-5; Date: 1200-1300; Origin: WASTE2]
[Sense: 6; Date: 1100-1200; : Old North French; Origin: wast, from wast (adjective); WASTE3]
1.) ¦(BAD USE)¦ [singular, U]
when something such as money or skills are not used in a way that is effective, useful, or sensible
waste of
Being unemployed is such a waste of your talents.
Many believe that state aid is a waste of taxpayers' money.
What a waste of all that good work!
excessive waste in state spending
2.) go to waste
if something goes to waste, it is not used
Don't let all this food go to waste.
3.) be a waste of time/money/effort etc
to be not worth the time, money etc that you use because there is little or no result
We should never have gone - it was a total waste of time.
unwanted materials or substances that are left after you have used something
The emphasis now is on recycling household waste .
industrial/chemical etc waste
proposals to end the dumping of industrial waste into rivers and seas
waste pipes
The disposal of hazardous waste is a serious problem.
5.) a waste of space
spoken someone who has no good qualities
6.) ¦(LAND)¦
wastes [plural] literary
a large area of land where there are very few people, plants, or animals
wastes of
the icy wastes of Antarctica
icy/frozen/snowy etc wastes
waste 2
waste2 W3S2 v [T]
1¦(not use sensibly)¦
2¦(not use fully)¦
3 be wasted on somebody
4 waste your breath
5 waste no time (in) doing something
6 waste not, want not
7¦(harm somebody)¦
Phrasal verbs
 waste away
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old North French; Origin: waster, from Latin vastare; DEVASTATE]
to use more money, time, energy etc than is useful or sensible
Leaving the heating on all the time wastes electricity.
waste sth on sb/sth
Don't waste your money on that junk!
2.) ¦(NOT USE FULLY)¦ [usually passive]
to not make full use of someone or something
Hannah's wasted in that clerical job.
His talents were obviously being wasted as a lawyer.
3.) be wasted on sb
if something is wasted on someone, they do not understand how good or useful it is
Her good advice was wasted on the children.
4.) waste your breath
spoken to say something that has no effect
Don't try to reason with Paul - you're wasting your breath.
5.) waste no time (in) doing sth
to do something as quickly as you can because it will help you
He wasted no time in introducing himself.
6.) waste not, want not
spoken used to say that if you use what you have carefully, you will still have some of it if you need it later
informal AmE to kill someone, severely injure them, or defeat them
waste away phr v
to gradually become thinner and weaker, usually because you are ill
waste 3
waste3 W3 adj [only before noun]
[Date: 1200-1300; : Old North French; Origin: wast, from Latin vastus; VAST]
1.) waste materials, substances etc are unwanted because the good part of them has been removed
2.) waste land is empty or not looked after by anyone
lay waste atlay2 (11)

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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