Meaning of WASTE in English



1. to waste something

2. something that wastes time, money etc




to spend a lot of money carelessly : ↑ SPEND MONEY OR TIME (3)

to waste time : ↑ SPEND MONEY OR TIME

see also





1. to waste something

▷ waste /weɪst/ [transitive verb]

to use time, money, food etc in a way that is not useful or sensible, or use more of something than is necessary :

▪ I wasted 40 minutes waiting for a bus this morning.

▪ Don’t leave the light on - you’re wasting electricity.

▪ The school kitchen wastes an awful lot of food.

waste money/time on something

▪ Bill wastes all his money on beer and cigarettes.

▪ Let’s not waste any more time on this.

▷ wasted /ˈweɪstɪd, ˈweɪstəd/ [adjective]

something that is wasted is not used in a sensible way, or does not produce a useful result :

▪ I felt as if my education had been wasted when I couldn’t get a job.

a wasted trip/journey

▪ I’m sorry, you’ve had a wasted trip. Mr Newton isn’t here at the moment.

wasted life/years

▪ She thought back over the past four years - four wasted years married to a man who almost destroyed her.

a wasted opportunity

▪ The government could have dealt with the problem there and then. It was a wasted opportunity.

▷ go to waste /ˌgəʊ tə ˈweɪst/ [verb phrase]

if something goes to waste or if you let something go to waste, it is wasted because it is not used :

▪ Local produce often goes to waste because people prefer to buy imported food.

▪ If no one else wants this, I’ll eat it -- I hate to see good food go to waste.

▪ We can’t let all our hard work go to waste.

▷ squander /ˈskwɒndəʳǁˈskwɑːn-/ [transitive verb]

to waste something valuable by using it in a stupid way that brings no useful results :

▪ His family felt he had squandered his musical talent.

squander a chance/opportunity

▪ England squandered a golden opportunity to score, seconds before the final whistle.

squander away something

▪ Howard was a terrible gambler, and had squandered away the family fortune.

▷ fritter away /ˌfrɪtər əˈweɪ/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to waste something such as time or money in a silly way by using small amounts of it on things you do not need :

fritter away something

▪ So many students seem to fritter away their time at college.

fritter something away

▪ Michelle had frittered her inheritance away on extravagant parties and fancy clothes.

▷ dissipate /ˈdɪsɪpeɪt, ˈdɪsəpeɪt/ [transitive verb] formal

to gradually waste something such as money or energy by trying to do a lot of different and often unnecessary things :

▪ She had dissipated her fortune by the time she was twenty-five.

▷ money down the drain /ˌmʌni daʊn ðə ˈdreɪn/ [noun phrase]

money that is wasted :

be money down the drain

▪ Buying nice clothes for you was just money down the drain. All you ever wear are jeans and T-shirts.

throw money down the drain

▪ The government is throwing tax payers’ money down the drain.

2. something that wastes time, money etc

▷ be a waste of something /biː ə ˈweɪst əv something/ [verb phrase]

if something is a waste of time, money, energy etc, it annoys you because it uses time, money etc in a way that has no useful results :

▪ a pointless war that was a terrible waste of human life

▪ That class was a complete waste of time - I didn’t learn anything.

▪ My parents think going to football games is a waste of money.

▷ wasteful /ˈweɪstf ə l/ [adjective]

an activity or method that is wasteful uses too much money, food, energy etc, without any useful results :

▪ Many people see the new £60 million building as wasteful and extravagant.

▪ wasteful packaging

▷ inefficient /ˌɪnɪˈfɪʃ ə nt◂, ˌɪnəˈfɪʃ ə nt◂/ [adjective]

an organization or system that is inefficient does not work well, so it uses more time, money, or energy than it needs to :

▪ an inefficient heating system

▪ Local government in the area is seen as being corrupt and inefficient.

▪ The factory is inefficient, and its working practices and machinery dated.

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