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fritter

1
[frit-er]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to squander or disperse piecemeal; waste little by little (usually followed by away): to fritter away one's money; to fritter away an afternoon.
  2. to break or tear into small pieces or shreds.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to dwindle, shrink, degenerate, etc. (often followed by away): to watch one's fortune fritter away.
  2. to separate or break into fragments: a plastic material having a tendency to fritter.
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noun
  1. a small piece, fragment, or shred.
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Origin of fritter

1
1720–30; earlier fitter, derivative of fit (Old English fitt) a part
Related formsfrit·ter·er, nounun·frit·tered, adjective

Synonyms for fritter

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1. dissipate, frivol away, idle away.

fritter

2
[frit-er]
noun
  1. a small cake of batter, sometimes containing corn, fruit, clams, or some other ingredient, fried in deep fat or sautéed.
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Origin of fritter

2
1350–1400; Middle English friture, frytour < Old French friture < Late Latin frīctūra a frying, equivalent to Latin frict(us), past participle of frīgere to fry1 + -ūra -ure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fritter

lavish, misspend, squander, dissipate, blow, trifle, consume, idle, dally, frivol

Examples from the Web for fritter

Historical Examples of fritter

  • But Delancy had no time to fritter away on niceties of etiquette.

    Making People Happy

    Thompson Buchanan

  • But there are always a few who fritter their time, and leave the same as they enter.

  • The curse of the ranchers is that they fritter away their strength.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for fritter

fritter

1
verb (tr)
  1. (usually foll by away) to waste or squanderto fritter away time
  2. to break or tear into small pieces; shred
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noun
  1. a small piece; shred
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Derived Formsfritterer, noun

Word Origin for fritter

C18: probably from obsolete fitter to break into small pieces, ultimately from Old English fitt a piece

fritter

2
noun
  1. a piece of food, such as apple or clam, that is dipped in batter and fried in deep fat
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Word Origin for fritter

C14: from Old French friture, from Latin frictus fried, roasted, from frīgere to fry, parch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fritter

v.

"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").

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n.

"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.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper