Definition of throwaway in US English:



  • 1Denoting or relating to products that are intended to be discarded after being used once or a few times.

    ‘a throwaway camera’
    ‘we live in a throwaway society’
    • ‘Vivid colors, mass-produced clip art and the low-tech animations emphasize cheap, throwaway culture that Americans are nurtured on.’
    • ‘Corporations make cheap throwaway products and packages to increase profits.’
    • ‘As efforts to close the materials cycle intensify, throwaway products will be either banned or taxed out of existence.’
    • ‘Plastic, throwaway silverware is not used since the airline serves only ‘finger food’ and not full meals.’
    • ‘I don't have much more to say, other than that it was not something I expected to find in a throwaway paper under a table at the Duke of Gloucester at 1 on a Friday morning.’
    • ‘The problem is that financial products are not throwaway consumer goods but require servicing and maintenance through the life of the contract.’
    • ‘I am going to get some cheap, old, throwaway PCs for the purposes of these courses.’
    • ‘People will happily fork out nearly a quid for half a litre of clear liquid in a throwaway plastic container when a tap provides a perfectly acceptable alternative.’
    • ‘Which proves, once again, the fact we live in a throwaway world in which, for some, history only goes back as far as yesterday - maybe only as far back as breakfast.’
    • ‘If the transport is an expendable, throwaway rocket, there are no people present when the craft arrives in space.’
    • ‘Among the detritus lifted off the pitch was a pig's head, a J&B whisky bottle, countless coins and numerous thrown-away throwaway cigarette lighters.’
    • ‘Unlike magazines and books, newspapers feel more ephemeral and throwaway, but they carry their own weight because of their reach.’
    • ‘Hospitals welcomed the convenience of single-use throwaway products because they no longer had to be concerned with product age, overuse, breakage, and malfunction.’
    • ‘Simple voice phones are becoming a throwaway commodity, and terminal manufacturers have seen handset sales dip for the first time ever.’
    • ‘How refreshing it is that in the midst of a throwaway society there remain products designed and constructed to function as advertised, season after season.’
    • ‘Many women will remember throwaway panties from the Sixties and Seventies - and by all accounts they were only too glad to dispose of them for good.’
    • ‘Unorganised sellers bring us a host of cheap goods at throwaway prices, but they don't enjoy much comfort, for their lives are one long struggle for existence, from generation to generation.’
    • ‘The books come in a bright blue backpack that also contains a box of washable markers and a throwaway flash camera.’
    • ‘On board, reduce your own amount of throwaway items, for example, use reusable plastic boxes for food instead of wrappings or baggies.’
    • ‘Evening wear will be for sale along with throwaway paper dresses from the 1960s.’
    • ‘In our fast-paced, throwaway culture, this treatment of what was once mere wreckage changes our relationship with time itself.’
    disposable, expendable, one-use, non-returnable, one-way, single-trip
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  • 2(of a remark) expressed in a casual or understated way.

    ‘some people overreacted to a few throwaway lines’
    • ‘Instead of having to guess at references or wonder about non-sequitur throwaway lines and images, we would have the powers that be explaining them to us.’
    • ‘It is always the casual throwaway comment, rather than your most carefully timed put-down, that is likely to cause terrible offence and end a friendship.’
    • ‘Oh, right, last time we were together I made some throwaway comment about Philly, just chatter to point him in the wrong direction.’
    • ‘It's an idea relegated to some throwaway dialogue and one disarming scene in which a girl is confronted by a nutcase.’
    • ‘So instead I smiled and made some throwaway statement, and returned to my daydreams of the stage.’
    • ‘In fact, most of Link's comic relief throwaway lines fail miserably.’
    • ‘Such a throwaway jibe reputedly once caused Phelps to fall out with school friends for years; Parry, a big, bluff Liverpudlian, will laugh it off more easily.’
    • ‘Emotions were running high and people might utter a few throwaway remarks but the general feeling is one of relief that he has gone.’
    • ‘When Dr Shaibani talks about ‘God’, and ‘design’, it's not some throwaway line covering a belief in evolution.’
    • ‘What a story there must be behind that throwaway line.’
    • ‘Several times I just found myself chuckling at some throwaway line.’
    • ‘So it was a throwaway remark by Clive that started it all off.’
    • ‘Conor Lenihan showed an impressive grasp of his brief in the Dail today by reducing exploited Turkish workers to the status of kebab eaters in a throwaway remark directed at Joe Higgins.’
    • ‘I had a vague recollection of saying something of that sort, but to think that a patient was being helped by some throwaway remark of mine was quite humbling.’
    • ‘But this isn't just a swipe at Miller or a throwaway smack at the paper of record.’
    • ‘The sets are expensive, the lifestyle lavish, the charm oozy and the dialogue throwaway.’
    • ‘It was just a throwaway remark, but perhaps my ignorance backs up the original point.’
    • ‘But what she had seen as a throwaway remark was taken far more seriously by social workers.’
    • ‘Take this one, for example, about some throwaway line of Howard Dean's.’
    • ‘As to the newspaper article, it reads like a throwaway remark made by someone who wasn't thinking too much.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the film, there are a lot of brilliant throwaway one-liners about our celeb-obsessed culture.’
    • ‘Who would have predicted that one throwaway posting would elicit over 800 comments?’
    • ‘As this throwaway remark shows, since the publication of Binchy's debut only weeks ago, Dublin has changed so much already.’
    • ‘It was a throwaway remark that proved tragically prophetic.’
    casual, passing, careless, unthinking, unstudied, unconsidered, ill-considered, parenthetical
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  • A thing intended or destined to be discarded after brief use or appeal.

    • ‘Sure, because this was a throwaway that would play downtown for 48 hours and that was it.’
    • ‘I was rummaging through my box full of stuff (you know the kind of box one keeps for throwaways that don't quite make it into the garbage bin) and found something that amused me.’
    • ‘The poems are throwaways, effusions of the moment.’
    • ‘However, instead of becoming useless throwaways that will quickly be discarded, these items can be given to the blacksmith to be used as raw material so he can make you new armor or weapons.’
    • ‘In fact throwaways are the best things to start with because you are not losing anything should you not be very happy with your first results.’
    • ‘The biggest problem is that it is a very lightweight throwaway film that is likely to be picked over for years to come because of its supposed insights, and it will suffer for that.’
    • ‘I focused on keeping the experienced soldiers; I treated thousands of lives like throwaways, just to win a battle.’
    • ‘Everyone is amazed at what can be done with those simple little throwaways we call ‘gadgets.’’
    • ‘The reality is that couriers are throwaways for the upper echelon of illicit drug enterprises - their occasional capture and the loss of illicit cargo an expected overhead expense for those but rarely seen before these courts.’
    • ‘Jade and Pearl shapes natural sea sponges to fit a woman's body, absorbing flow and likewise averting the dilemma of throwaways, synthetic fibers and bleaching.’
    • ‘Convert yard sale finds and common throwaways into unique, safari-inspired furnishings to create your own study sport!’
    • ‘With the average outboard costing about $8,000, consumers feared their engines could quickly become very expensive throwaways if they had no way to get them repaired.’
    • ‘The second could come if inspecting and reusing the ‘disposable’ camera is cheaper than making a film throwaway.’
    • ‘Forget ‘abracadabra’, today ‘obsolete’ is the magic word that can turn a throwaway into a collectible.’
    • ‘The question of the day was whether this would be another Gilmore Girls, or some mindless throwaway.’
    • ‘We decided to find out and asked three women in their 20s and 30s (who were still in nappies when throwaways were all the rage) to wear the new knickers and report back.’
    • ‘They are the ones who are easily ‘spoken for’ as being also smart consumers whose growing sophisticated needs require that the entertainment market produce yet faster goods and more effectual throwaways in the name of better service.’
    • ‘In addition, the study concludes that laundering cloth diapers produces nearly ten times the water pollution created in manufacturing throwaways.’