Waist vs Waste - What is the difference?

Waist or Waste – How to use each Correctly?  

You would have learned about a word that shares the same pronunciation to another but has different meanings and spellings. These words are called homophones. The word homophone is basically derived from the Greek words ‘homo’ i.e. same and ‘phone’ i.e. voice. Homophones came into existence as a matter of historical chance because English spellings are derived from multiple origins. As a result, few pairs of words sound similar phonetically but have distinct meanings. In this article, we are going to learn about the homophones – waist, and waste.

Before we move further to learn about the homophones – waist, and waste, let us learn about the history of homophones.

How to use waist in a sentence

Waist – It is the noun that refers to the part of a body between the ribs and hips of a person. It is also referred to as the part of the clothing that covers this(i.e. waist) area of the body.

Let me share some examples to give more clarity.

  • A woman was dieting and exercising to get a slimmer waist for her wedding day.

The tailor needed to adjust the waist of the dress.

  • Some women use corsets to make their waist appear narrower, which was more fashionable in the past.
  • This suit fits me very well, except for the waist.

Interestingly, the word ‘waist’ originated from “old English” that means to grow. The waist is the part of the body that is most commonly associated with weight change. This word is frequently used in regard to fashion as well as weight gain and weight loss.

How to use waste in a sentence

Waste – It acts as either a noun or a verb that refers to an act or instance of using or spending something carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose. It can be also used as an adjective to describe removing or discarding any material or by-product which is no longer in use. The word waste originated from an old Northern French word waste that means damage/destruction which was altered from the Latin word vastus i.e. empty, desolate.



  • I don’t know why you insist on washing all the dishes by hand before putting them in the dishwasher. It’s a huge waste of time! You could save time by letting the machine do all the work. 


  • I can’t believe you spent $100 on that dress! I got the same one for just $5 the other day. I’m sorry, you wasted so much money.


  • Most parents dislike when their children waste food.
  • The factories pour their waste products straight into the river. 

How to remember when to use the words ‘waist’ and ‘waste’?

There are two different ways to understand the use of each word and remember which word to use in different situations.

Remember the word ‘waist’

The word waist has the letters ‘aand ‘iwithin it. Consider the letter ‘aas a person with a large waist, while the letter ‘ias a person with a small waist.

Remember the word waste

The word waste ends with letters aste, which rhymes with the word taste. You can think of a child having a small bite of food and if they don’t like it’s taste, they will waste the rest of the food by refusing to eat.


In this article, we have learned about the difference between homophone – waste, and waist. What other sentences come to your mind which has waste as a noun, verb, or adjective? Please share your opinions in the comment section below.