squan·​der | \ˈskwän-dər \
squandered; squandering\ ˈskwän-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

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 \ noun

Examples of squander in a Sentence


He vowed not to squander this opportunity. squandered all her money gambling in casinos

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By brawling with America’s friends, critics say, Trump has squandered an opportunity to build a united front against China. Paul Wiseman, The Seattle Times, "What you need to know about the upcoming U.S.-China tariffs," 2 July 2018 Saving revenues for the future will help stabilise the economy, but could also frustrate voters and leave the president’s successor with money to squander. The Economist, "Fighting the resource curse through online gaming," 28 June 2018 But by turning his back on the council Trump is squandering a valuable seat at the table. Erika Guevara-rosas, Time, "Trump’s Departure From the Human Rights Council Will Only Weaken America," 20 June 2018 Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Tuesday, May 15," 15 May 2018 Our society cannot afford to squander the talents of our children, teens, adults, or elders. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland.com, "Sunlight and limelight make for great spring: Sun Messages," 5 May 2018 After squandering some early scoring opportunities Friday, the Orioles used a pair of two-run, two-out singles from Adam Jones and Manny Machado as part of a four-run fourth inning snapped a 1-1 tie. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles end 13-game road losing streak with 7-4 win at Fenway," 18 May 2018 The Reds were guilty of squandering several chances, but Netherlands star Gini Wijnaldum was singled out by fans during the frustrating 0-0 draw. SI.com, "Reds Fans Lay Into Liverpool Star on Twitter After Wasteful Performance Against Stoke," 28 Apr. 2018 But the Blue Jackets squandered four power plays, two of them late in the final period. USA TODAY, "Backstrom's late goal lifts Capitals over Blue Jackets, 3-2," 6 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for squander

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for squander

The first known use of squander was in 1536

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More Definitions for squander



English Language Learners Definition of squander

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


squan·​der | \ˈskwän-dər \
squandered; squandering

Kids Definition of squander

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

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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).


playful or foolish behavior

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