What is a single word noun that means "a reusable object"?

I'm looking for something with as few syllables as possible, that is English vernacular.

The word would also be abstract, so it encompasses any reusable object. For example humans, dogs, and cats are all animals.

A friend (and a SO user) mentioned the word "durables" describes reusable objects, but I would like a more commonly used term.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Canis Lupus, RyeɃreḁd, Hellion, Janus Bahs Jacquet, Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 '14 at 22:57

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  • Object. Unless destroyed to atoms, all can be reused. – Oldcat Jun 4 '14 at 22:16
  • @Oldcat Your possible sarcasm is mildly annoying to me, but your point is somewhat valid. – FracturedRetina Jun 4 '14 at 23:57
  • I don't get what you mean. A flimsy plastic party cup is reusable. Almost everything that we use is reusable, take away the stuff that we eat/drink. Do you have an example? – RyeɃreḁd Jun 5 '14 at 14:38
  • I'm looking for an abstract term that refers to any reusable object. For example "durables". – Donny P Jun 6 '14 at 3:49
  • Read through the help center, and updated question :) Let me know what may still be ambiguous about the question. – Donny P Jun 6 '14 at 19:44

Reusables is used as a noun in the plural form.


  • This word has almost no meaning. – RyeɃreḁd Jun 5 '14 at 14:39
  • @RyeɃreḁd - that does beg the (off-topic) question of whether there is a measure of the amount of meaning a given word has. – oerkelens Jun 5 '14 at 14:47
  • @oerkelens - I agree. He needs examples. I think as it stands jwpat7's answer is the best but we have no idea what Donny means. This word is nonsense and I am surprised that it got 4 upvotes. There aren't many/any things we couldn't label a reusable. It is a marketing term. – RyeɃreḁd Jun 5 '14 at 14:58

Durable is a possibility. As a noun, it refers to durable goods that are usable for multiple accounting periods.

  • Yeah this is a really solid answer, just looking for something more commonly understood. (I studied econ back in the day, pretty sure thats the only reason I know this one :P) – Donny P Jun 6 '14 at 3:52

An object that can be reused is a recyclable.

Since the cup is a recyclable, I won't have to purchase another one after I finish my drink.

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    No. Recycling is when the object goes through an entire industrial process that allows the materials it's made of, to be be re-used. For example a recylable bottle might go through a cleaning phase before it's refilled and capped. Or it might simply be smashed up and made into roads. – dwjohnston Jun 5 '14 at 4:26
  • @dwjohnston There are multiple definitions for the word recycle, including "to use something again." If something is recycled (past particle, adj), it is used again. A recyclable (noun) is an object that can be recycled. Thus, a recyclable is an object that can be used again. Recycling is also a gerund. See that? I just supplied you with an alternate definition for recycling as well! – njboot Jun 5 '14 at 4:31
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    Alright, I'll accept that as an informal use of the term. However, 'recyclable' tends to imply that the material the object is made up of, is such that it can be practically reprocessed for reuse. You don't call a glass jar 'recyclable' because you can make a flower pot out of it, however you might say that you can recycle it, by making a flower pot out of it. – dwjohnston Jun 5 '14 at 4:34
  • Recycled or repurposed is the correct usage – Third News Jun 5 '14 at 16:08

The term retread can mean

something made or done again especially in slightly altered form : remake

The connotation is often that the object is second rate. It would not be appropriate if you were extolling the green qualities of the repurposed item.


Non-expendable - relating to an item that is not consumed when it is used.

I've heard it used during a sport event:

Is this cutlery disposable?

- No, it's non-expendable.

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    That use doesn't make any sense to me. It sounds as if it might be a error for non-expendible: that wouldn't really fit, but it would be closer. – Colin Fine Jun 4 '14 at 22:17
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    @ColinFine, right, you've pointed the error: it's not "non-expandable" (cannot be expanded, "made larger"), but "non-expendable" (is not used up during whatever process). I assume it's "non-expandable" rather than "non-expendible" as I can't find any info on the latter and, if so, ironically, you've pointed out a typo with a typo (or an error with an error). – hauron Jun 4 '14 at 22:52

junk might be used. (a word that is as short as possible with connotations of re-usability and yes, it does not mean all junks can be reused but junk is closer to re-usability than garbage or trash)

Discarded material, such as glass, rags, paper, or metal, some of which may be reused in some form.

You can find articles about how to reuse junk also. For example: Projects to reuse junk

Other than that, reusable itself can mean reusable item/object because it can be used as a noun also.

  • 1
    Junk also has connations that it's not reusable. – dwjohnston Jun 5 '14 at 4:28
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    @dwjohnston: I know. I said "might be used". I don't know OP's context and he asked for a short word. I mentioned "reusable" also. Though people try their best to find something in the answer and downvote. – ermanen Jun 5 '14 at 13:37

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