- wastefully or recklessly extravagant: prodigal expenditure.
- giving or yielding profusely; lavish (usually followed by of or with): prodigal of smiles; prodigal with money.
- lavishly abundant; profuse: nature's prodigal resources.
- a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.
Origin of prodigal
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for prodigal
No one knows, but on the 4th of July he began bellowing that the Prodigal Son would, in fact, return.LeBron James Returns to Cleveland: How 'The Decision 2.0' Happened
July 11, 2014
Her "prodigal son" brother, Mehran (Reza Sixo Safari), a former classical musician, returns home from a stint in drug rehab.Iran’s Controversial New Lesbian Film
August 25, 2011
Turns out, Nash's "prodigal roommate" Charles isn't real, but rather a personification of Nash's loss of youthful exuberance.Imaginary Friends in Movies
May 5, 2011
In going to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was the prodigal son playing in his homeland.King James Can't Handle the Pressure
March 11, 2011
The Lacunaby Barbara Kingsolver Her first novel since Prodigal Summer.Dog Day Reading List
Nancy Bass Wyden
July 31, 2009
Who, think you, does more injustice, a prodigal man or a saving man?Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
Swine were the natural companions of the prodigal, and the sooner he was with them the better!Weighed and Wanting
Here, too, are the ironies whereof departed life is prodigal.Tiverton Tales
But for her Paula would not have returned, like the Prodigal son, to the father's house.The Incomplete Amorist
I am prodigal enough at times, but I will not part with such a treasure as that.The Letters of Robert Burns
- recklessly wasteful or extravagant, as in disposing of goods or money
- lavish in giving or yieldingprodigal of compliments
- a person who spends lavishly or squanders money
Word Origin and History for prodigal
mid-15c., a back-formation from prodigality, or else from Middle French prodigal and directly from Late Latin prodigalis, from Latin prodigus "wasteful," from prodigere "drive away, waste," from pro- "forth" (see pro-) + agere "to drive" (see act (v.)). First reference is to prodigial son, from Vulgate Latin filius prodigus (Luke xv:11-32). As a noun, "prodigal person," 1590s, from the adjective (the Latin adjective also was used as a noun).