Definition of bin in US English:



  • 1with modifier A receptacle for storing a specified substance.

    ‘a vegetable bin’
    • ‘Use large colorful stackable plastic bins to store toys, linens, out of season clothes and decorations, etc.’
    • ‘Each bin stores a particular variety of packaged multiple-dose pharmaceutical.’
    • ‘We have a worm farm and compost bin, have planted fruit trees and vegetables and plan to plant up an area of natives next week.’
    • ‘The stores were decorated with bins of coffee beans, photos of coffee trees, and shelves of gleaming coffee paraphernalia.’
    • ‘Once the sequence is complete, the test equipment sends the results to the component handler, which bins the part and places another in the fixture.’
    • ‘I survey the space where we're standing, shelves and bins of different components.’
    • ‘Check the dollar stores for plastic bins, baskets and containers.’
    • ‘I was shopping in a health food store that had open bins and this man was grabbing handfuls of nuts in his open hands and eating them before going to the counter to pay for them.’
    • ‘York Rotters, a band of council-trained volunteers, showed festival visitors how they can reduce household waste by up to a third by purchasing a discounted compost bin.’
    • ‘Children can sort through the manageable bins without standing on tiptoes or upsetting a whole shelf.’
    • ‘So I laid some permeable membrane down to stop the weeds from growing upwards and emptied the contents of the big compost bin into the smaller compost bin.’
    • ‘When you go to bargain bins in record stores, you can get Blondie and The Beatles and you can go back every day and get something new and good.’
    • ‘Each bin can store one type of otherwise homeless stuff.’
    • ‘Those burgeoning sprouts on the gnarly bulbs piled in bins at a garden store can produce five or six flowers, each as big as your hand.’
    • ‘We also started boiling up the maize and storing this in huge bins ready for piling into the swims in front of the site to get the shoals of fish munching.’
    • ‘Any longer than that and I'm liable to drop the jeans in the nearest bargain bin basket and run out of the shop empty handed.’
    • ‘There have also been problems with the brown bin or composting bin service, with a handful of households contaminating it with dead animals and non-recyclable waste.’
    • ‘The scheme is designed to encourage residents to take part in council schemes, which include a compost bin offer and nappy laundering services.’
    • ‘It's carried to market, stored, arranged in bins, cooked, brought to the table, and eaten.’
    • ‘A big stand of grain bins; they are scowling at the wind, each of them.’
    • ‘Using separate bins to store boarders' grain helps track the number of sacks you use.’
    container, receptacle, holder
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A receptacle in which to deposit trash or recyclables.
      ‘we tossed the soda cans in the bin marked “aluminum only.”’
      • ‘Christmas cards can be taken along to Tesco or WH Smith, where recycling bins will stand in all their York stores.’
      • ‘Refuse collectors are instructed only to collect rubbish left in the bins and no other bags, in an attempt to reduce landfill and encourage recycling.’
      • ‘He tossed the little wooden stick in the recycling bin and stood up.’
      • ‘The level of organisation is very impressive, though I'm not sure about the symbolism of the count supervisors using an empty ballot box as a rubbish bin.’
      • ‘An electrified clothes drying rack, a guitar made out of an coffee tin, drums built from stainless steel colanders, pots and rubbish bins.’
      • ‘The study showed that only 14 per cent of household rubbish bins contain absolutely no information of interest to fraudsters.’
      • ‘As part of the project, every home in the borough will have a green box for glass, tins, foil trays and plastic bottles, a white bag for paper waste and a grey bin for other household rubbish.’
      • ‘He pointed it out to me and I walked across to the bin and deposited the package of shells.’
      • ‘As Ian approached the bus stop, Mad Sam extricated himself from the litter bin and stood in the middle of the pavement, blocking Ian's path.’
      • ‘After the first day of the strike many city centre streets were filled with litter as protesters tipped over rubbish bins and emptied refuse bags.’
      • ‘Bin wagons, rubbish bins and boxes are all in line for a major shake-up to smooth the way for kerbside recycling.’
      • ‘On your next visit to the supermarket take excess packaging and deposit in the rubbish bins in the store car park.’
      • ‘So it must have been gremlins that filled my rubbish bin with pieces of torn cardboard and disposable coffee cups.’
      • ‘So chuck the half-used bottles of poison in the bin and stop giving your money to the multi-nationals with their hugely profitable global brands.’
      • ‘Each week, on the same day, either the black bin with household rubbish and the blue box with tins and plastic were collected, or the brown bin for garden rubbish and the green box for paper.’
      • ‘Last week I left several glass wine bottles in my green bin along with paper and cardboard.’
      • ‘In addition one resident actually had somebody put a sack of rubbish in their bin when they had it left out for collection.’
      • ‘Just think if you recycled all of these materials you won't need to stand on your wheeled bin to squeeze that last bit of space out of it and you might get your lid the whole way down!’
      • ‘Was he planning on using one of the empty bottles in the bin to store some chemicals?’
      • ‘That amounts to 1500 tonnes of glass, plastic, paper and cans going into recycling bins rather than rubbish bags.’
    2. 1.2Statistics Each of a series of ranges of numerical value into which data are sorted in statistical analysis.
      • ‘In 1831, August Ferdinand Möbius put numbers into 3 bins, as a new type of function.’
      • ‘To do this, each distribution was binned and compared to a reference distribution given by the average value in each bin.’
      • ‘We calculated the choice proportions of the higher rewarding flower types for bins of 50 simulated visits.’
      • ‘A major disadvantage has been that it is not straightforward to construct a histogram with log bins when the original data have been digitized.’
      • ‘However, it is usually at one of the first few bins in the histograms, where it may be due to failure of detection of very brief events.’
      • ‘All other markers are subsequently placed in the bin into which they best fit by statistical procedures without perturbing the overall map order.’
      • ‘The range of each bin varied such that each one contained 1/9 of the positions.’
      • ‘FIG. 3. - Average ECI values for genes in different bins of expression breadth.’
      • ‘This value is shown in the left-most bin in the histogram of Fig.4 A.’
      • ‘However, the mode of rise times at the second bin of the histogram was suspect.’
      • ‘We group the posterior probabilities into bins and in each bin calculate the proportion of sites truly under positive selection.’
      • ‘Mean values and 95% confidence intervals for F are plotted against mean density values for each bin.’
      • ‘Ogilvie et al. divided trials into quartile bins based on the distribution of reaction time latencies.’
      • ‘This value is shown in the second bin from the left in the same histogram for comparison.’
      • ‘The spike in the rightmost bin of the series is due to the occurrence of an appreciable number of chromosomes without crossovers at that marker spacing.’
      • ‘The bin analysis moved forward point-to-point to calculate means and variances.’
      • ‘Categorizing into bins is labor intensive with inevitable arbitrariness that may vary between laboratories.’
      • ‘We performed the same statistical analysis on these synteny bins as described above for the human-mouse data.’
      • ‘For clarity of presentation, values were grouped in bins and distances >100 km were omitted.’
      • ‘Plotted is the maximum bin length value averaged over 50 simulated populations.’
    3. 1.3
      ‘back in the bin, she suffers from dreadful nightmares’
      short for loony bin


Old English bin(n), binne, of Celtic origin; related to Welsh ben ‘cart’. The original meaning was ‘receptacle’ in a general sense; also ‘a receptacle for provender in a stable’ and ‘container for grain, bread, or other foodstuffs’. The sense ‘receptacle for rubbish’ dates from the mid 19th century.