• synonyms


[wey-struh l]
See more synonyms for wastrel on Thesaurus.com
  1. a wasteful person; spendthrift.
  2. Chiefly British.
    1. refuse; waste.
    2. a waif; abandoned child.
    3. an idler or good-for-nothing.
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Origin of wastrel

First recorded in 1580–90; waste + -rel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for wastrel

rake, vagrant, waster, idler, vagabond, spendthrift, profligate, squanderer

Examples from the Web for wastrel

Historical Examples of wastrel

  • And yon riff-raff, his spitten picter, is no'but some wastrel merry-begot.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • A wastrel, a roisterer by night, a spendthrift, and a thief!

    The Pagan Madonna

    Harold MacGrath

  • It was only then that he realized fully the merits of the wastrel Phineas McPhail.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke

  • Drunkenness and an iron social system manufactured the criminal, the wastrel, the lunatic, and we dealt with the waste product.

  • After all, he is a pauper and a wastrel, and he has not the honour of bearing our Name.

British Dictionary definitions for wastrel


  1. a wasteful person; spendthrift; prodigal
  2. an idler or vagabond
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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 wastrel


"spendthrift, idler," 1847, from waste (v.) + pejorative suffix -rel.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper