The words "waist" and "waste" are homophones, so they sound the same but have different meanings. Because of their differences, you won\u2019t want to mix these words up in your writing. Find out how to use them correctly with our helpful guide.\n\nWaist (Part of the Body)\n"Waist" is a noun that refers to the part of the body between the hips and chest:\nTie your karate belt around your waist.\nYou\u2019ll also see this spelling in words like "waistline" (a person\u2019s measurements around the waist) and "waistband" (the waist section of an item of clothing).\nMore rarely, "waist" can refer to a mid-section of a vehicle, such as the central deck of a ship. However, it usually refers to part of the human body.\n\nWaste (Unwanted Material or Bad Usage)\n"Waste" has a range of uses related to something being unwanted or used badly. As a noun, for example, it can refer to unwanted or useless materials:\nThe city council collects household waste weekly.\nOr it can refer to a poor or inefficient use of something:\nCounting needles on a pine tree is a waste of time.\nAs a verb, meanwhile, it typically means "spend or use carelessly":\nDon\u2019t waste your money on a toaster that doesn\u2019t work.\nIt can even be an adjective meaning "unwanted or not needed":\nMake sure to recycle waste paper.\nThis term has other uses (e.g., to "lay waste" to something is to destroy it). But in most cases, "waste" is related to unwanted matter or the poor use of something.\n\nSummary: Waist or Waste?\nAlthough these words sound the same, they mean different things:\n\n\n \tWaist is a noun that refers to the part of the body between the hips and chest.\n \tWaste can be a noun, a verb, or an adjective and has various uses, but it usually refers to unwanted matter or the poor use of a resource.\n\nOne way to tell these homophones apart is to remember the following phrase:\nI have a waist, and "waist" has an "i."\nIn other words, when you\u2019re referring to the body part (or something related to the body part), you\u2019ll need the spelling with an "i." In other cases, the correct spelling will be "waste." And if you\u2019d like more help with your writing, we have expert editors available 24\/7. Upload a document for a free proofreading trial today.