frit·​ter | \ ˈfri-tər How to pronounce fritter (audio) \

Definition of fritter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small mass of fried or sautéed batter often containing fruit or meat


frittered; frittering; fritters

Definition of fritter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to spend or waste bit by bit, on trifles, or without commensurate return usually used with away
2 : to break into small fragments

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Other Words from fritter


fritterer \ ˈfri-​tər-​ər How to pronounce fritterer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for fritter

Synonyms: Noun

cake, croquette, cutlet, galette, patty (also pattie)

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Examples of fritter in a Sentence


she loves eating corn fritters with maple syrup

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Alumni return for the apple fritters and whole-wheat doughnuts. Washington Post, "Protests at Oberlin labeled a bakery racist. Now, the college will pay $11 million for libel.," 10 June 2019 The recall is for 190,757 pounds of Tyson’s fully cooked, whole grain golden crispy chicken chunk fritters. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "Tyson recalls chicken fritters, including some sold in schools, that may contain plastic," 9 June 2019 Shrimp and grits and Caribbean pholourie fritters were on the menu. Jeneé Osterheldt,, "Racism at the MFA is not an isolated event. It’s a microcosm of life in America," 23 May 2019 The rich, crunchy cherry fritters have been getting more popular every year, unless the weather's bad. Polly Campbell,, "Thing-a-lings: The whole story of the cherry fritters, the Washington's birthday tradition," 15 Feb. 2018 Bright, fresh apples and arugula are the perfect complement to these spiced, crispy squash fritters. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Curried Squash Pancakes with Arugula and Apple Salad," 10 Feb. 2015 Once a year, the owners of Schmidt's Bakery in Batesville, Indiana fry up cherry fritters covered with Barbie-pink icing to celebrate, of course, George Washington's birthday. Enquirer Staff,, "This week in Venn Diagrams," 16 Feb. 2018 The two most famous local dishes to try here are takoyaki (octopus fritters) and okonomiyaki (a savory pancake). Jessica Flint, WSJ, "A Discerning Vacationer’s Guide to Escaping from Tokyo," 6 Dec. 2018 Share small plates like kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut, and Thai basil, or corn and coriander fritters before moving onto heartier dishes like Southern Thai goat curry. Sophie Davies, Condé Nast Traveler, "29 Best Restaurants in Sydney," 14 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Throughout history empire-building CEOs not being held to account by investors have frittered away capital on value-destroying takeovers, luxurious new headquarters and even golden commodes. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "What Really Ails American Capitalism," 10 Feb. 2019 Better to pay dividends or buy back shares than fritter the money away. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "GE Shows What Happens When Dividend Investing Goes Wrong," 1 Nov. 2018 History might not even remember that Smith was only able to fritter away a crucial possession because Hill missed a go-ahead free throw. Rob Mahoney,, "It's Now or Never for George Hill and the Cavaliers," 6 June 2018 Until the mid-19th century investors used to look over the books themselves, checking that directors were not frittering away their capital. The Economist, "What is an audit for?," 26 May 2018 Instead, producers frittered away the first 20 minutes or so of Episode 5 by squeezing every ounce of lingering melodrama from previous episodes. Mike Scott,, "'Southern Charm New Orleans' goes ghost hunting at the Myrtles," 14 May 2018 But energy is precious, and no species can afford to fritter it away. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "Pendulums and Pacing: the Fine Art of Walking," 19 Apr. 2018 The second-guessing comes faster than a bullet train in Germany when leads are frittered away in the last inning, or innings. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Failure to protect leads, heavy usage have put Brewers' bullpen in double jeopardy," 11 Apr. 2018 India, which for years frittered away money on LPG for the middle class, has managed to steer the subsidies—the world’s biggest cash-transfer programme—more accurately towards the poor, partly thanks to the Aadhaar biometric-identity scheme. The Economist, "Household smoke may be the world’s deadliest environmental hazard," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fritter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fritter


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1728, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for fritter


Middle English fritour, from Anglo-French friture, from Vulgar Latin *frictura, from Latin frictus, past participle of frigere to roast


fritter, noun (fragment, shred)

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Dictionary Entries near fritter





fritter away

fritto misto


Statistics for fritter

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fritter

The first known use of fritter was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for fritter



English Language Learners Definition of fritter

: a small piece of food that has been coated in a flour and egg mixture and fried


frit·​ter | \ ˈfri-tər How to pronounce fritter (audio) \

Kids Definition of fritter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small amount of fried batter often containing fruit or meat clam fritters


frittered; frittering

Kids Definition of fritter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to waste on unimportant things He frittered away his money.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fritter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fritter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fritter

Spanish Central: Translation of fritter

Nglish: Translation of fritter for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about fritter

Comments on fritter

What made you want to look up fritter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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