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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from squander


squanderer \ ˈskwän-​dər-​ər How to pronounce squander (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 But Modi will squander public money to feed his megalomaniac vanity. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "A real estate project has become a symbol of the Indian government’s apathy amid the Covid crisis," 4 May 2021 The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against lefty Cody Reed only to squander the opportunity when Thompson came on and got DJ LeMahieu to ground into an inning-ending double play. Fred Goodall, orlandosentinel.com, "Yankees top Rays 8-4, Odor snaps late tie with 1st hit for NY," 11 Apr. 2021 Despite the minor limitations surrounding this year’s festivities, Questlove is not letting anything squander the excitement of his latest role. J'na Jefferson, Billboard, "Questlove Is Eager to 'Be the Bridge' Between Film & Hip-Hop as Oscars Music Director," 20 Apr. 2021 As Maryland’s financial fortunes changed, Guzzone said his sleepless nights transitioned from fretting about cuts to figuring out how not to squander unexpected tax revenue, a better-than-expected economy and multiple waves of federal stimulus aid. Washington Post, "After fears of cuts and layoffs last year, Maryland passes record $52 billion budget flush with cash," 2 Apr. 2021 At West High, the Eagles took a 39-34 lead into the fourth quarter only to squander it. Anchorage Daily News, "Chugiak Mustangs boys basketball team puts up a Wall against previously unbeaten Dimond Lynx," 21 Feb. 2021 Perhaps no defeat was more disappointing than Friday’s when, after seizing a three-point lead in the final seconds, the Warriors made two critical mistakes — a foul by Wiggins and a turnover by Damion Lee — to squander yet another opportunity. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors overcome James Wiseman's knee injury for convincing win over Rockets," 10 Apr. 2021 A night after going three for 16 while leaving 14 runners on base in their opening-day loss, the Dodgers didn’t squander many opportunities. Los Angeles Times, "Trevor Bauer flirts with no-hitter, gets plenty of support to win Dodgers debut," 2 Apr. 2021 After losing that game against River Hill (6-1) earlier this season, along with an overtime defeat against Marriotts Ridge that saw Glenelg (5-2) squander a second-half lead, Baehr said the team needed a result like this one. Jacob Calvin Meyer, baltimoresun.com, "Glenelg field hockey hands River Hill first loss | Howard County sports roundup," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "The Surprising Boredom of Trump’s Circus Show," 26 Aug. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about squander

Time Traveler for squander

Time Traveler

The first known use of squander was in 1536

See more words from the same year

Statistics for squander

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Squander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squander. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for squander



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.

Comments on squander

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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