verb (used with object)

to spend or use (money, time, etc.) extravagantly or wastefully (often followed by away).
to scatter.


extravagant or wasteful expenditure.

Origin of squander

First recorded in 1585–95; origin uncertain
Related formssquan·der·er, nounsquan·der·ing·ly, adverbre·squan·der, verb (used with object)un·squan·dered, adjective

Synonyms for squander

Antonyms for squander

1. save.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for squander

Contemporary Examples of squander

Historical Examples of squander

  • What then have you done with the sums given you from infancy to squander?

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Then he'll get a kind of maggot in the brain, and squander every sixpence he can lay hands on.

    Love and Lucy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • There's no fun in spendin' money, seems to me, unless you squander it reckless.

    Mary Louise in the Country

    L. Frank Baum (AKA Edith Van Dyne)

  • But now he was three years weaker, and he had no more money to squander.

    In a Little Town

    Rupert Hughes

  • I also squander it on follies, but on follies of purely home growth.

British Dictionary definitions for squander


verb (tr)

to spend wastefully or extravagantly; dissipate
an obsolete word for scatter


rare extravagance or dissipation
Derived Formssquanderer, noun

Word Origin for squander

C16: of unknown origin
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 squander

1580s (implied in squandering), "to spend recklessly or prodigiously," of unknown origin; Shakespeare used it 1593 in "Merchant of Venice" with a sense of "to be scattered over a wide area." Squander-bug, a British symbol of reckless extravagance and waste during war-time shortages, represented as a devilish insect, was introduced January 1943 by the National Savings Committee. In U.S., Louis Ludlow coined squanderlust (1935) for the tendency of government bureaucracies to spend much money.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper