Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large, usually metal receptacle for trash.
  • n. Slang A depth charge.
  • n. Slang A powerful cylindrical firecracker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A container for ashes, used in times past for accumulating ashes generated from wood and coal fires, for eventual disposal elsewhere. A dustbin.
  • n. A kind of large firecracker.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Ashcan School of American art.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a bin that holds rubbish until it is collected.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. early 20th-century United States painting; portrays realistic and sordid scenes of city life
  • n. a bin that holds rubbish until it is collected

Etymologies

ash + can (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • "Two bucks to spend the night in this manhole," I said, "when for free I could have a nice airy ashcan."
    --Raymond Chandler, 1943, The Lady in the Lake, chapter 13

    September 4, 2009

  • Synonym for trash can, from the days when wood and coal stoves were common, and the trash was often full of ash.

    Also slang for a depth charge. Also an early 20th century American realist art movement.

    October 17, 2007