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verb (used with object)
  1. to spend or use (money, time, etc.) extravagantly or wastefully (often followed by away).
  2. to scatter.
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  1. extravagant or wasteful expenditure.
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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


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1. save.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for squanderer

Historical Examples

  • In contact with his own family Walter was no squanderer of words.

    Alice Adams

    Booth Tarkington

  • There never was such a squanderer of his own immeasurable riches.

  • A hundred people would lend me money, or to any man who has not the reputation of a squanderer.

    The Journal to Stella

    Jonathan Swift

  • Consider, Fixlein knew that the Rittmeister was a cormorant towards the poor, as he was a squanderer towards the rich.

  • He seems to have deviated from the common practice; to have been a hoarder in his first years, and a squanderer in his last.

British Dictionary definitions for squanderer


verb (tr)
  1. to spend wastefully or extravagantly; dissipate
  2. an obsolete word for scatter
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  1. rare extravagance or dissipation
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Derived Formssquanderer, noun

Word Origin

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 squanderer



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper