from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

ash + can



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  • 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

  • "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