1 of 2


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

transitive verb

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


2 of 2


: an act of squandering

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
The actor squanders the opportunity to offer something different when playing the robot version of his character, resorting to a lame fart joke and making silly expressions. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 23 Nov. 2023 Fincher squanders it as music to kill by, returning smugness. Armond White, National Review, 17 Nov. 2023 Not to squander my life being spared, but to give back to my family, friends, and all of you whom have empowered me to endure. Carly Thomas, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Nov. 2023 The Trojans squandered a critical fourth-down stop with an offsides penalty, and also blew their own fourth-down attempt with a delay-of-game penalty. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, 12 Nov. 2023 Not to squander my life being spared , but to give back to my family, friends, and all of you whom have empowered me to endure. Carlos De Loera, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2023 The American dream is a reputation that has been earned–and that mustn’t be squandered. Semyon Dukach, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2023 Secret Invasion was probably the streamer’s brand-name nadir, an impossibly dull espionage thriller that squanders Samuel L. Jackson and a slew of big names. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Oct. 2023 Director Emma Tammi’s film squanders the game’s strange and unique-looking creatures, failing to add recognizable traits to the characters written for the film. Murtada Elfadl, Variety, 26 Oct. 2023
Meanwhile, the movie squanders Antonio Banderas in a tiny role and under-utilizes Mads Mikkelsen in a bigger one: Voller, Indy’s Nazi rival for the disc. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 30 June 2023 The Sox mounted an even more formidable threat – with an even more monumental squander – in the bottom of the first. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, 13 June 2023 Those on hand saw the A’s squander an early 6-2 lead then force extra innings in dramatic fashion. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 Apr. 2023 And in Atlanta, the Falcons’ squander of a 16-point lead to the Saints in the fourth quarter could have been saved by kicker Younghoe Koo, but his last-second try from 63 yards — well beyond his career long — was blocked. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Sep. 2022 For the second game in a row, the Red Sox got off to promising start, only to see the bullpen squander it. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Aug. 2021 If the Jazz squander playoff possessions or get sloppy on those trips, their chances at winning will greatly diminish. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 May 2021 Every day Trump and the Republicans squander brings us a day closer to the election and a likely Biden presidency. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 26 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'squander.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



origin unknown

First Known Use


1536, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1709, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of squander was in 1536

Dictionary Entries Near squander

Cite this Entry

“Squander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squander. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


squandered; squandering
: to spend foolishly or wastefully
squandered all her money on video games

More from Merriam-Webster on squander

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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