Waist or Waste?

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Waist or Waste?

What is the difference between "waist" and "waste"?
  • "Waist" is the middle part of the body.
  • "Waste" means "rubbish" "garbage" or "to expend without reason."
waist or waste?

Waist and Waste

The words "waist" and "waste" sound identical, but their meanings are very different.


"Waist" is the part of the body between the ribs and hips. A section of clothing that fits the waist may also be called the "waist" (e.g., The waist on this suit is too tight). Similarly, midsections of airplanes and ships can also be referred to as "waists."



"Waste" can be a noun, a verb, or an adjective. It has five main meanings:

(1) Useless materials left over from another activity (i.e., rubbish , garbage ).
  • Cellular waste products are a by-product of cellular respiration.
  • Originally, soya milk was a waste product of tofu.
  • The new concept encourages producers to leave no municipal waste for landfill.
(2) To expend materials or resources without reason.
  • Do not waste drinking water.
  • Junk mail invades our homes and wastes our time.
(3) To wear away, to weaken, or to tire.
  • Her quadriceps ave wasted badly since the injury.
  • I am wasted after that run.
  • (I am tired...)
(4) Uninhabited or uncultivated (usually of land).
  • This area has turned to wasteland since the flood.
(5) To kill (slang).
  • I am going to waste that little punk.

Common Terms with "Waist" and "Waste"

Common terms with the word "waist":
  • waistcoat
  • waistline
Common terms with the word "waste":
  • waste away
  • toxic waste
  • waste of space
  • waste of time
  • waste of breath
  • waste land
  • Haste makes waste.
  • Don't waste your breath.
Remembering "Waist"

Imagine the i in the middle of "waist" is a person.

waist in the middle of person
There's a person in the middle of waist. There's a waist in the middle of a person.
Ready for the Test?
Here is a confirmatory test for this lesson.

This test can also be:
  • Edited (i.e., you can delete questions and play with the order of the questions).
  • Printed to create a handout.
  • Sent electronically to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words