9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dih-spoh-zuh-buh l] /dɪˈspoʊ zə bəl/
designed for or capable of being thrown away after being used or used up:
disposable plastic spoons; a disposable cigarette lighter.
free for use; available:
Every disposable vehicle was sent.
something disposable after a single use, as a paper cup, plate, or napkin.
Origin of disposable
1645-55; dispose + -able
Related forms
disposability, disposableness, noun
disposably, adverb
nondisposable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for disposable
  • Spoon melted chocolate into a resealable plastic bag or a disposable pastry bag.
  • Pack disposable suitable work clothing, tough-but-comfortable shoes and a sun hat.
  • The company touts its diapers as being eco-friendly by offering a biodegradable disposable diaper or reusable inserts.
  • Roll up a bill and slip it into the the end of your disposable razor.
  • Some airports do provide disposable booties, but you can never rely on that.
  • Instead of plastic disposable utensils, the company now uses recyclable ones.
  • Decide what is important to you and what is disposable.
  • Departments hire visiting professors every year to fill disposable positions.
  • Search-committee chairs are busy people, dealing with dozens of applications, many of which are quickly deemed disposable.
  • Have some disposable cups on hand for drinking water.
British Dictionary definitions for disposable


designed for disposal after use: disposable cups
available for use if needed: disposable assets
something, such as a baby's nappy, that is designed for disposal
(pl) short for disposable goods
Derived Forms
disposability, disposableness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for disposable

1640s, "that may be done without;" see dispose + -able. Meaning "designed to be discarded after one use" is from 1943, originally of diapers, soon of everything; replaced throw-away (1928) in this sense. First recorded use of disposable income (preserving the older sense) is from 1948.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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