From Middle English rǒbǒus (“rubbish, building rubble”), further origin uncertain; possibly from Anglo-Norman rubous, rubouse, rubbouse (“refuse, waste material; building rubble”), and compare Late Latin rebbussa, robousa, robusium, robusum, rubisum, rubusa, rubusium (although the Anglo-Norman and Latin words may be derived from the English word instead of the other way around). The English word may be related to rubble, though the connection is unclear.
The verb is derived from the noun.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈɹʌbɪʃ/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈɹʌbɪʃ/, /ˈɹə-/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: rub‧bish
- (chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain) Garbage, junk, refuse, trash, waste.
- The rubbish is collected every Thursday in Gloucester, but on Wednesdays in Cheltenham.
- (chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain) Items of low quality.
- Much of what they sell is rubbish.
- (chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain) Nonsense.
- (archaic) Debris or ruins of buildings.
- 1697, Virgil; John Dryden, transl., “The Eighth Book of the Æneis”, in The Works of Virgil: […], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, […], OCLC 403869432, lines 252–255, page 441:
- See, from afar, yon Rock that mates the Sky, / About whoſe Feet ſuch Heaps of Rubbiſh lye: / Such indigeſted Ruin; bleak and bare, / How deſart now it ſtands, expos'd in Air!
- a. 1701, John Dryden, “Annus Mirabilis: The Year of Wonders, 1666”, in The Miscellaneous Works of John Dryden, […], volume I, London: Printed for J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, […], published 1760, OCLC 863244003, stanza 280, page 131:
- At length th' Almighty caſt a pitying eye, / And mercy ſoftly touch'd his melting breaſt: / He ſaw the town's one half in rubbiſh lie, / And eager flames drive on to ſtorm the reſt.
- rubbage (now dialectal)
- rubble (possibly)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- (chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain, colloquial) Exceedingly bad; awful.
- Synonyms: abysmal, crappy, horrendous, shitty, terrible; see also Thesaurus:bad, Thesaurus:low-quality
- This has been a rubbish day, and it’s about to get worse: my mother-in-law is coming to stay.
- 1989 June, Phil Snout [pseudonym; Phil South], “Rage Hard”, in Matt Bielby, editor, Your Sinclair, number 42, London: Dennis Publishing, ISSN 0269-6983, OCLC 1065267228, page 82, column 1:
- Disk interfaces have been around since the year dot, as people soon realised that the microdrive was unreliable, unstable and generally rubbish for the storage of anything, useless except as a rather small beermat.
- Used to express that something is exceedingly bad, awful, or terrible.
- 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.
- Used to express that what was recently said is nonsense or untrue; balderdash!, nonsense!
- (transitive, chiefly Australia, New Zealand, Britain, colloquial) To criticize, to denigrate, to denounce, to disparage. [from c. 1950s (Australia, New Zealand)]