‘Waist’ and ‘waste’ are English ‘homophones’: two words that are pronounced exactly the same way but have very different meanings.
Waste – This can be used as a noun, verb, or adjective. In general, ‘waste’ involves something that you are no longer using and want to get rid of. ‘Waste’ can even be something you put in the rubbish or recycle bin.
Another definition of ‘waste’ is when you are not using something to its full potential, or you are being careless with it. This can involve ‘wasting your time’ or ‘wasting your money’.
Waist – This is the part of your body in the middle of your torso, about where your navel is. Sometimes we refer to our ‘waist line’ to talk about how small or large we are. Our ‘waist’ is usually measured to help us decide what size of clothes we need to buy.
Be careful when you are using these two words in your writing, as they sound exactly the same but have different meanings and are spelled differently. So let’s practice.
Fill in the blanks below with either ‘waste’ or ‘waist’:
1. Her pants are too big for her. Her ______________ must be getting smaller.
2. During the holiday season, I need to watch my __________ line.
3. We just cleaned out our house and we had a lot of ____________.
4. My __________ size is 28.
5. He is taking the __________ out.
Answers: 1. Waist, 2. Waist, 3. Waste, 4. Waist, 5. Waste