- Squander is defined as to be wasteful.
An example of squander is taking a bite out of every piece in a shared box of chocolates until finding one you like.
Origin of squanderprobably a specialized use of dialect, dialectal squander, to scatter, popularized after Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, I, iii, 22
transitive verbsquan·dered, squan·der·ing, squan·ders
- To spend wastefully or extravagantly; dissipate. See Synonyms at waste.
- To fail to take advantage of: squandered an opportunity to go to college.
- Archaic To scatter.
Origin of squanderOrigin unknown.
(third-person singular simple present squanders, present participle squandering, simple past and past participle squandered)
Squander implies starting with many resources, such as great wealth, and then wasting them (using them up to little purpose or little effect), often ending with little. Particularly used in phrases such as “squander an opportunity” or “squander an inheritance”. It may be used even if one starts with little, though usually in some construction such as “squander what little he had”.
Compare Danish skvætte (rare)/skvatte (“to splash”) (nominalised: skvæt), Icelandic skvetta (“to squirt”), Norwegian bokmål skvette.