Definition of disposable in US English:



  • 1(of an article) intended to be used once, or until no longer useful, and then thrown away.

    ‘disposable diapers’
    ‘a disposable razor’
    • ‘Articles such as disposable diapers, bibs, clothing, etc. are disclosed.’
    • ‘Keep extra supplies on hand if your system requires disposable filters and special sanitizing solutions.’
    • ‘More recently, disposable baths are available from several manufacturers as prepackaged single-use units.’
    • ‘As if all that were not enough, new scientific research is beginning to throw up other potential hazards with disposable nappies.’
    • ‘Maybe I shouldn't have used cheap disposable razors.’
    • ‘Consumers might also welcome a tiered approach to rentals, with cheaper, single-viewing sessions available on disposable disks, he said.’
    • ‘The girls' version adds a nail file, moisturiser, cotton buds and pads, and eye make-up remover, while the boys get a disposable razor, shaving cream, aftershave and hair gel.’
    • ‘After they finished they threw their disposable plates and utensils down a chute.’
    • ‘The bleached pulp is then converted into a variety of paper products, including disposable diapers.’
    • ‘And one of the council's strategies will be to work with parents to try to discourage them from using disposable nappies in favour of reusables.’
    • ‘Still remember the thrill, in those early days, of discovering scarce URLs; now they're printed on every piece of disposable packaging that I throw in the bin.’
    • ‘Further investigation showed they also contained hospital waste, including disposable syringes and surgical gloves.’
    • ‘As western products find markets in even the remotest of islands, such items as disposable diapers and syringes litter otherwise lovely beaches.’
    • ‘The surgical attire policy at our facility requires wearing disposable head covers.’
    • ‘So he conceived of a line of cheap, disposable razor blades that could be purchased in bulk and discarded before they ever needed sharpening.’
    • ‘During the purge I came across a still-functional disposable razor and since I was in a whimsical mood, I proceeded to convert my full beard into a goatee.’
    • ‘Even the razor should be a disposable one, thrown out after use.’
    • ‘Once disposable nappies were for convenience.’
    • ‘Men will want either electric or disposable razors, or both.’
    • ‘From 1947 until 1961, disposable diapers were a wad of tissue paper sandwiched between two pieces of plastic film.’
    throwaway, expendable, one-use, non-returnable, replaceable
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    1. 1.1 (of a person or idea) able to be dispensed with; easily dismissed.
      ‘the poor performer is motivated by the fear that he or she is highly disposable’
      • ‘It's nice to call them disposable soldiers, but that's not the reality.’
      • ‘But if she is ill or injured or just troublesome, she's disposable.’
      • ‘He was disposable, now that he'd backed out of the deal.’
      • ‘Which is just fantastic, because a lot of what we do as actors is so disposable in a way.’
      • ‘‘We're disposable,’ she said of the military's attitude toward reservists.’
      • ‘She was simply a pawn in his game, she was disposable once she had done what she needed to do, and he could destroy her on a whim.’
      • ‘The oft-heard stereotype of deadbeat poor people masks the growing reality of dead-end jobs and disposable workers.’
      • ‘He was introduced as a disposable character to push the story along for a couple of episodes at most.’
      • ‘But with the new fashion for disposable leaders, perhaps it doesn't matter much.’
      • ‘Instead, I'd gambled all my sweetness only to find out I was disposable.’
      • ‘We're dealing with what you should really consider to be disposable people and kind of even a new model of slavery.’
      • ‘They are the ones who are so easily turned away at hospitals with a painkiller to cure pulmonary tuberculosis and who are regarded as disposable members of our society.’
      • ‘It got depressing after a while, with the realisation that you're completely disposable and not being hired for any skills.’
      • ‘Especially if they're disposable - getting rid of the evidence as quickly as you can is crucial to both your nostrils and your sanity.’
      • ‘We'll tell you about America's disposable workers.’
      • ‘There was a time when employees were disposable.’
      • ‘Women are for their pleasure, consumption, exploitation and when they are done with them, the women are disposable.’
      • ‘In the age of disposable parents, it turns out you can't blame psychological disorders for what happens in the absence of rules.’
      • ‘Low Road buildings keep being valuable precisely because they are disposable.’
      • ‘Because I somehow feel that somewhere in someone's thinking fathers are disposable, because that's the way we're treating this man.’
      expendable, replaceable, inessential, unessential, non-essential, skippable
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  • 2(chiefly of financial assets) readily available for the owner's use as required.

    ‘he made a mental inventory of his disposable assets’
    • ‘As the cofounder of Microsoft he has more disposable investment capital than most of us.’
    • ‘We are really looking at young, mobile 18- to 24-year-olds with a sizeable disposable spend, but our company will obviously appeal to people outside that bracket," she said.’
    • ‘Brokering deals with things Britain didn't even possess is what kept her afloat in an age where several companies had a larger gross revenue and more disposable budget than the defunct remnants of age old empires.’
    • ‘As an example of some of the vast differences, French law allows for property to be divided into a disposable and reserved portion on the death of the owner.’
    • ‘What they don't say is that schools and hospitals don't really count as disposable assets in the sense that they can't be sold off.’
    • ‘Ms Nicholas said only disposable assets were taken into account when determining eligibility.’
    • ‘We want to be able to compute various per capita measures, such as GDP per capita and real disposable personal income.’
    • ‘As a result the growth in total wages has contributed far less to the overall growth in disposable personal income in this downturn than in prior downturns.’
    • ‘I would identify what disposable money I had each month, and divide it equally between the two.’
    • ‘Dublin's combination of a young population with a high disposable spend is helping to push retail rents higher as international chains seek a high street presence in the market.’
    • ‘A Judge at York Crown Court ordered him to pay back £17,365, after hearing that the sum would take away all his disposable assets.’
    • ‘By the end of 2002, Irish investors will have invested more of their annual disposable capital than ever before into property.’
    • ‘Lists of required equipment and disposable items are available through the company.’
    • ‘In any case they create an abundance of disposable money for which its owners try to find the most profitable investment.’
    • ‘As a business owner, you can't afford to view employees as disposable assets.’
    • ‘We have exhausted all our savings and disposable assets.’
    • ‘As Marx put it in his great work Capital, from the point of view of the system, ‘if a worker consumes his disposable time for himself, he robs the capitalist.’’
    • ‘A person with disposable assets may want to keep it all for himself or herself, may not want to let go of any of it, and may actually be anxious about what will happen if too much gets away.’
    • ‘Investment will therefore be a function of the financial viability of the hospital and its possession of disposable assets rather than its ranking in terms of national and regional need.’
    • ‘The company is even considering opening a kiosk to sell sunglasses in the retail food court to gain a greater share of their customers' disposable dollars.’
    available, usable, accessible, obtainable, spendable
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  • An article designed to be thrown away after use.

    ‘don't buy disposables, such as razors, cups, and plates’
    • ‘Initially the plan was we would have enough money from Mr and Mrs Davis for three years' worth of disposables.’
    • ‘The latter is a medical device manufacturer specializing in proprietary OEM products and private-label fluid disposables.’
    • ‘Chip cards may have a long-term advantage over disposables.’
    • ‘At the other end, there are the nappies to buy - 1,126 for disposables for the first three years.’
    • ‘Now environmentalists are discouraging the use of disposables.’
    • ‘Statistically, I believe that those individuals who make up the overwhelming number of those murdered have been regarded as disposables.’
    • ‘‘Parents can no longer be demonised for using disposables,’ Tracey Stewart opined.’
    • ‘The Indian leaf plate, pattal or istaraku is one of the precursors of the modern-day disposables.’
    • ‘Manufacturing the disposables in India is another way of reducing the cost.’
    • ‘After visiting the kitchen and disposing of the disposables, I headed back out to see what tasks I might do to make customers feel at ease.’
    • ‘The restaurant and ice-cream stall in the Museum compound make it a point to avoid plastic disposables.’
    • ‘While my disposables are non-biodegradable I draw comfort from the claims that washing the cloth nappies uses so much soap that it's an environmental hazard anyway.’
    • ‘In reality, disposables take up a tiny proportion of landfill, and given the energy you need to boil the water and the amount of bleach and detergent you tip down the drain, nobody's really sure.’
    • ‘Whether you're trying to bond a cannula to a syringe hub, cement a lens in an endoscope, or produce disposables, chances are that some company makes an adhesive especially for that purpose.’
    • ‘For trips out and holidays, disposables are life-savers, but for everyday use they are simply proof of how lazy today's mothers are.’
    • ‘The safety disposables are designed so that reuse is excluded.’
    • ‘I say unfortunately because this happens to be Real Nappy Week when we are supposed to be dumping our disposables and rushing out to buy reusables instead.’
    • ‘And Bea added that they would be cheaper than disposables and I asked J if they were expensive. ‘Oh, I don't know, I never look at the price of things,’ he said.’
    • ‘We are likely to use crockery in place of plastic disposables,’ says Jinghan.’
    • ‘They go on like the disposables and are really easy to use.’