squan·​der | \ ˈskwän-dər How to pronounce squander (audio) \
squandered; squandering\ ˈskwän-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce squandering (audio) \

Definition of squander

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to spend extravagantly or foolishly : dissipate, waste squandered a fortune
2 : to cause to disperse : scatter
3 : to lose (something, such as an advantage or opportunity) through negligence or inaction



Definition of squander (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of squandering

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Other Words from squander


squanderer \ ˈskwän-​dər-​ər How to pronounce squanderer (audio) \ noun

Examples of squander in a Sentence

Verb He vowed not to squander this opportunity. squandered all her money gambling in casinos
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The debate has become a strange and strained one, given that whatever China did or did not cover up, the US still squandered its chance to prepare for the inevitable even after Beijing’s warnings had become loud and clear. Shawn Yuan, Wired, "Inside the Early Days of China’s Coronavirus Coverup," 1 May 2020 Stacey Abrams is squandering a plausible chance at winning the Georgia governorship in 2022 by her quixotic bid to be Joe Biden's running mate, analysts say. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Stacey Abrams gambles her political future with vice-presidential gambit," 30 Apr. 2020 Together, the challenges resulted in a lost month, when the United States squandered its best chance of containing the coronavirus’s spread. New York Times, "Coronavirus Live Updates: Trump Drops Idea of Quarantining New York Region," 29 Mar. 2020 With recent polls showing Sanders and Warren positioned to do well there, many on the left worry about squandering a chance to win. NBC News, "Doomsday scenario on the left: Warren, Sanders destroy each other while Biden skates in," 16 Jan. 2020 Friday last week before going 25 of 44 for 265 yards against the Eagles, Dallas (8-7) squandering a chance to clinch the NFC East title. BostonGlobe.com, "Ben Roethlisberger," 26 Dec. 2019 The Browns had squandered a chance just two plays earlier -- turning the ball over on downs -- but that doesn’t change the defense’s on-field expectations to make a stop and get off the field. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Browns needed Myles Garrett and Olivier Vernon to do their job on 2 key plays vs. Broncos, and they didn’t -- Film Review," 7 Nov. 2019 The Lakers performance was a mixed bag, coming back from a 14 deficit to tie the game late, only to squander their chance with poor outside shooting. Motez Bishara, CNN, "Clippers topple Lakers in revamped rivalry as NBA looks past China," 23 Oct. 2019 MISSED CHANCES Washington made a few big plays on special teams in the first quarter but squandered a chance to take a big early lead. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Eason, Ahmed lead Washington over Arizona 51-27," 13 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'squander.' 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 squander


1536, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1709, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for squander


origin unknown

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Time Traveler for squander

Time Traveler

The first known use of squander was in 1536

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Statistics for squander

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Squander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squander. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for squander


How to pronounce squander (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of squander

: to use (something) in a foolish or wasteful way


squan·​der | \ ˈskwän-dər How to pronounce squander (audio) \
squandered; squandering

Kids Definition of squander

: to spend foolishly : waste She squandered her allowance. Don't squander this opportunity.

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