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

Instead, The Happytime Murders squanders that opportunity. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Happytime Murders tests the limits of subverting nostalgia," 24 Aug. 2018 Those parties had their chance and squandered it, many say. Paulina Villegas, New York Times, "Disenchanted Youth May Tip Mexican Election to López Obrador," 25 June 2018 After squandering two leads in a draw with Vancouver last Saturday, the Revolution (5-4-4) managed to salvage a point Wednesday despite playing from behind against Eastern Conference leader Atlanta. Dan Mcloone, BostonGlobe.com, "Revolution get right back at it against Red Bulls," 1 June 2018 The Royals, who were outhit 15-6, never got any momentum going after squandering a bases-loaded opportunity in the first inning. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals get shut out by White Sox in first game of doubleheader | The Kansas City Star," 28 Apr. 2018 In reality, there is little pushing Foxconn to invest as much money or create as many jobs as promised because Walker squandered his leverage over the company. Bruce Murphy, The Verge, "Wisconsin’s $4.1 billion Foxconn boondoggle," 29 Oct. 2018 Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless military veteran who had $400,000 raised for him by well-wishers, will receive the full amount of money even though those behind the fundraiser allegedly squandered it. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Homeless Philadelphia man Johnny Bobbitt will get his $400G, GoFundMe says," 6 Sep. 2018 Dallas Davis' departure on Thursday gave Johnson that opportunity, and the former Davidson High School star did nothing to squander it, completing 9 of 12 passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. Creg Stephenson, AL.com, "5 takeaways from South Alabama's 2018 spring practice," 16 Apr. 2018 Coric had two chances to go up 5-3 but squandered them and lost the game on a double fault, the opening Federer sought. Helene Elliott, latimes.com, "Roger Federer defeats Borna Coric in classic comeback," 18 Mar. 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

13 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on squander

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with squander

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for squander

Spanish Central: Translation of squander

Nglish: Translation of squander for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of squander for Arabic Speakers

Comments on squander

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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