frit·​ter | \ˈfri-tər \

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 \ 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

Rotating entrees could include al pastor tacos or prime rib hash, and there’s always a vegetarian or vegan option like zucchini meatballs or quinoa fritters. Samantha Nelson, RedEye Chicago, "11 Chicago restaurants offering great brunch buffets," 13 July 2018 Ukoy, a softball-size fritter that looks like a freeze-frame photo of the exploding Death Star, is impossible to stop plucking apart. Jonathan Kauffman,, "Likha brings Michelin pedigrees to Filipino bar food," 5 July 2018 Five baseball-sized fritters arrived at the table like a personal challenge. Anchorage Daily News, "A revamped menu of comfort food at Rustic Goat restaurant," 5 July 2018 Like Old Fashioned, Poppin has a huge apple fritter. Michael Nagrant, RedEye Chicago, "A guide to eating your way through Chicago's South Side," 6 July 2017 Emilia started cooking bacalaitos, fritters made from dried and salted cod. Illyanna Maisonet,, "Bacalaitos as familial memory and penance," 5 July 2018 Inside, the fritter is generously studded with whole sweet corn kernels. Anchorage Daily News, "A revamped menu of comfort food at Rustic Goat restaurant," 5 July 2018 Puree it with water to add it to a batter for falafel and other fritters. The Washington Post,, "How to start teaching your kids to cook: an age-appropriate guide," 12 June 2018 At night, the unassuming Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery opens its back doors to donut fans willing to weave through an hour-long line in a back-alley lot for still-warm donuts—in a variety of flavors, but plain is best—and apple fritters. Alyssa Giacobbe, Town & Country, "T&C Travel Guide: The Best of Martha's Vineyard," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is not talking about frittering around the edges of anything. Z. Byron Wolf, CNN, "There's not a 'snowflake's chance in hell' of repealing the Second Amendment," 27 Mar. 2018 The Jacksonville Jaguars frittered away a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in losing 24-20 to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game, yet their unraveling really began in the final 2½ minutes of the first half. USA TODAY, "Analysis: Jaguars just not on same level as Brady, Belichick," 22 Jan. 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

12 Oct 2018

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 \

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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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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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