- to squander or disperse piecemeal; waste little by little (usually followed by away): to fritter away one's money; to fritter away an afternoon.
- to break or tear into small pieces or shreds.
- to dwindle, shrink, degenerate, etc. (often followed by away): to watch one's fortune fritter away.
- to separate or break into fragments: a plastic material having a tendency to fritter.
- a small piece, fragment, or shred.
Origin of fritter1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a small cake of batter, sometimes containing corn, fruit, clams, or some other ingredient, fried in deep fat or sautéed.
Origin of fritter2
Examples from the Web for fritter
But Delancy had no time to fritter away on niceties of etiquette.Making People Happy
But there are always a few who fritter their time, and leave the same as they enter.Elizabeth Hobart at Exeter Hall
Jean K. Baird
The curse of the ranchers is that they fritter away their strength.The Octopus
I want to keep it in my purse, and fritter it away just as I like.Betty Trevor
Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
Your intelligence all in the abstract; only folly and fritter for your own affairs.The Fashionable Adventures of Joshua Craig
David Graham Phillips
- (usually foll by away) to waste or squanderto fritter away time
- to break or tear into small pieces; shred
- a small piece; shred
- a piece of food, such as apple or clam, that is dipped in batter and fried in deep fat
Word Origin and History for fritter
"whittle away," 1728, from fritters "fragment or shred," possibly from a noun sense, but this is not recorded as early as the verb; perhaps an alteration of 16c. fitters "fragments or pieces," perhaps ultimately from Old French fraiture "a breaking," from Latin fractura. Or perhaps from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German vetze "clothes, rags").
"fried batter," late 14c., from Old French friture "fritter, pancake, something fried" (12c.), from Late Latin frictura "a frying," from frigere "to roast, fry" (see fry (v.)).