- The definition of prodigal is spending money carelessly and foolishly.
An example of prodigal is buying very expensive cars and homes.
- Prodigal is a person who left home, often under bad terms, and who then has a long-awaited and much celebrated return home.
An example of prodigal is a son who comes home to make peace with his father after a ten year fight.
- exceedingly or recklessly wasteful
- extremely generous; lavish: prodigal with one's praise
- extremely abundant; profuse
Origin of prodigalMiddle French ; from Classical Latin prodigus, prodigal ; from prodigere, to drive forth or away, waste ; from pro-, forth + agere, to drive: see pro- and amp; act
- Rashly or wastefully extravagant: prodigal expenditures on unneeded weaponry; a prodigal nephew who squandered his inheritance.
- Giving or given in abundance; lavish or profuse: “the infinite number of organic beings with which the sea of the tropics, so prodigal of life, teems” (Charles Darwin). See Synonyms at profuse.
Origin of prodigalLate Middle English, probably back-formation from Middle English prodigalite, from Old French, from Late Latin prōdigālitās, from Latin prōdigus, prodigal, from prōdigere, to drive away, squander : prōd-, prō-, for, forth; see proud + agere, to drive; see ag- in Indo-European roots.
(comparative more prodigal, superlative most prodigal)
- wastefully extravagant.
- He found himself guilty of prodigal spending during the holidays.
- He is not a prodigal son.
- (often followed by of or with) someone yielding profusely, lavish
- She was a merry person, glad and prodigal of smiles.
- How can he be so prodigal with money on such a tight budget?
- profuse, lavishly abundant
- returning after abandoning a person, group, or ideal, especially for selfish reasons; being a prodigal son.
- (a prodigal person): frugal
- A prodigal person, a spendthrift.