Prodigal Definition

prŏdĭ-gəl
adjective
Exceedingly or recklessly wasteful.
Webster's New World
Rashly or wastefully extravagant.
Prodigal expenditures on unneeded weaponry; a prodigal nephew who squandered his inheritance.
American Heritage
Extremely generous; lavish.
Prodigal with one's praise.
Webster's New World
Extremely abundant; profuse.
Webster's New World
The definition of prodigal is spending money carelessly and foolishly.
An example of prodigal is buying very expensive cars and homes.
YourDictionary
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noun
One who is given to wasteful luxury or extravagance.
American Heritage
A person who wastes his means; spendthrift.
Webster's New World
A person who returns after a willful absence.
Webster's New World
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.
YourDictionary

Other Word Forms of Prodigal

Noun

Singular:
prodigal
Plural:
prodigals

Origin of Prodigal

  • Late 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 proud agere to drive ag- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Late Latin prodigalis (“wasteful"), from Latin prodigus (“wasteful, lavish, prodigal"), from prodigere (“to consume, squander, drive forth"), from pro (“before, forward") + agere (“to drive").

    From Wiktionary

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