is there any difference between these two words?

I understand that people often use "food waste" to talk about the issue of throwing away too many cooked food

However, it seems to me that it would be more accurate to describe it as "food wastage".

Another interesting point is about an implicit connotation.

Dictionary.com states that: Waste and wastage are to some extent interchangeable, but many people think that wastage should not be used to refer to loss resulting from human carelessness, inefficiency, etc: a waste (not a wastage) of time/money/effort etc

however, when I refer to another book or, such connotation is not acknowledged.

the Guide to English Usage states that: wastage = act or process of wasting; whereas waste = unused remnant.

Can anyone explain to me the difference regarding the two words?

  • I didn't notice until after the system had unilaterally actioned my closevote that it was actually my own answer on the earlier question which pointed out the difference between waste and wastage. Apr 8, 2015 at 17:17
  • Can someone reopen this question? The closed as duplicate makes no sense.
    – alelom
    Jun 23, 2021 at 4:14

1 Answer 1


The word waste exists as a verb, an adjective and a noun. Wastage only exists as a noun (possibly an adjective in wastage ratio or such).

In the Oxford Dictionary Online the first sense given for the noun waste is an act or instance of using or expending something carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose. That corresponds very closely to the meaning of wastage.

However the second sense of waste is unwanted or unusable material, substances or by-products. That is a meaning distinct from wastage.

  • This does not answer the question unfortunately. I'm still unclear on the difference in usage.
    – alelom
    Jun 23, 2021 at 4:15

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