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 49ers had momentum at certain times, but most of it was generated by the defense and squandered by the offense. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "49ers’ offense struggled in every aspect as perfection comes to an end," 11 Nov. 2019 Unfortunately, like many of this species, the characters are an icy-veined and largely unemotional species that ultimately squander this provocative premise, reducing it to the status of visual essay rather than full-blooded human story. Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gattaca': THR's 1997 Review," 24 Oct. 2019 Executives blissfully squander their budgets, unaware of the specter of banner ads, like beachgoers before a tsunami. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "The Transformation of Condé Nast," 21 Oct. 2019 The refs saw more than just a tangle and ejected Carter-Williams, but the spark didn’t do much for the Magic, who had squandered a seven-point, third-quarter lead and watched the Heat go on a 20-4 run. Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.com, "Heat knock off Magic in turnover-filled preseason finale," 16 Oct. 2019 Robert Moreno's men started on the front foot, with Thiago Alcantara squandering a glorious chance to give his side the opening goal after just eight minutes. SI.com, "Sweden 1-1 Spain: Report, Ratings & Reaction as La Roja Book Euro 2020 Spot With Dramatic Draw," 15 Oct. 2019 Springer bounced into an inning-ending double play, squandering a bases-loaded situation that foreshadowed the remainder of the game. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros squander array of chances before Angels walk off in 12th inning," 27 Sep. 2019 And Trump’s affection for dictatorships is squandering the high ground our country has historically been able to occupy, even in the face of our imperfections and inconsistencies. E.j. Dionne Jr., The Mercury News, "Dionne: Trump’s China policy focuses on trade, yet ignores our values," 15 Aug. 2019 The Mueller hearings are an opportunity that can’t be squandered. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Please Don’t Blow the Mueller Hearings," 23 July 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

17 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Squander.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squandered. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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Comments on squander

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