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

Keep scrolling for more

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)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of fritter in a Sentence


she loves eating corn fritters with maple syrup

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Plenty of folks jumped at the chance to sample the insect in fritters, cookies, smoothies, tostadas and soup on Friday at the Fair. Kathy Berdan, Twin Cities, "Crikey! They were eating crickets at the State Fair!," 23 Aug. 2019 The agriculture department is advising that consumers who have purchased the chicken fritters, which were produced on Feb. 28, not serve them. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "Tyson recalls chicken fritters, including some sold in schools, that may contain plastic," 9 June 2019 How did the idea for shrimp fritters at the Fair come about? Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "Funky Grits’ best seller inspires new Fair food," 28 Aug. 2019 From baba to eggplant parm, ratatouille and fritters, these are our favorite eggplant recipes to cook any time of the year. Rochelle Bilow, Bon Appétit, "Beyond Baba Ghanoush: 32 of Our Favorite Eggplant Recipes," 19 Aug. 2019 Starters, including raw bar items, clam fritters, crab cakes, mussels and steamers, are $4.95 to $15.95. Leeanne Griffin,, "Costello’s Clam Shack: A waterfront destination for your fried-seafood fix," 19 July 2019 The event includes a special menu including such yummy Bayou favorites as chicken and sausage gumbo over rice, crawfish fritters with Creole dipping sauce, fried oyster po’ boys and crawfish boil. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Taste of Orleans returns to California’s Great America," 16 July 2019 Sides include sweet corn tamales known as dukunu, lobster fritters and fried okra, one of many vegetable-centric bites. Hadley Tomicki,, "Mother-daughter duo cook side-by-side at Belizean pop-up No Reservation L.A.," 12 July 2019 The list of new dishes is provocative: wild mushroom tart, falafel fritters, spiced potato and green pea samosas, and summer berry pudding chantilly. Los Angeles Times, "Could this be cruise lines’ year of the vegan?," 16 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The cash was funnelled through shell companies around the world and frittered away on yachts, artworks, diamonds and other fripperies. The Economist, "Malaysia charges 17 Goldman Sachs executives," 15 Aug. 2019 But in 2010, Democrat Martha Coakley managed to fritter away the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy for nearly a half-century by losing a special election to Republican Scott Brown. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Arguing the World," 15 Aug. 2019 The Brewers spent the early innings frittering away scoring opportunities, continuing their woes with runners in scoring position. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Giants 4: Ben Gamel's pinch-hit, RBI double in bottom of ninth saves the game," 13 July 2019 This reporter read it in one long sitting, frittering away a whole weekend day between its pages so entertaining was the tale. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "In an arresting new thriller, no one is innocent, including readers," 7 July 2019 Roger Federer kept accumulating break points and then frittering them away against Stan Wawrinka in the French Open quarterfinals, failing to convert 16 of his initial 17 chances. Howard Fendrich,, "Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are set for another matchup at the French Open," 4 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fritter

Dictionary Entries near fritter





fritter away

fritto misto


Statistics for fritter

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fritter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!