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 heir alleged that Stehling’s fortune, once valued at $20 million, had been squandered. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Taco Cabana co-founder Lynn Moody dies," 6 Jan. 2020 It was squandered, as many writers have pointed out, by engineers and CEOs who opted for profit over people at every turn with seemingly no consequences. Rose Eveleth, Wired, "The Architects of Our Digital Hellscape Are Very Sorry," 28 Dec. 2019 The story of American politics over the past decade is that of a political party on the cusp of enduring power and world-historical social reform, and how these once-imaginable outcomes were methodically squandered. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "A Decade of Liberal Delusion and Failure," 20 Dec. 2019 By 2009, growth had dropped to 2%, showing that the momentum generated by both CAN2008 and the Joseph Project had been squandered. Bright Simons, Quartz Africa, "Ghana’s Year of Return is on its way to success so the government should stop using bad data," 20 Dec. 2019 Their farm system is closer to middle-of-the-pack than top tier, and squandered opportunities have added up. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers say they're 'building it back up.' The evidence suggests otherwise," 10 Dec. 2019 To end up as one of the 23 women representing the U.S., that’s a massive achievement in and of itself, and no one is going to squander it. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "Opinion: England will see US women's 'ruthless streak' in World Cup semifinal," 1 July 2019 What Earthquake Bird is really about, other than its own twisty telling, remains unclear at film's end, any grand points it might have made squandered by a conclusion that's neither earned nor particularly satisfying. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Thanksgiving Weekend," 27 Nov. 2019 Economic growth indeed has been brisk, but the returns often are squandered in ways ranging from local corruption to corporate expansion in unprofitable ventures. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Strong stock market may hide problems with your portfolio. Here are 5 tips to prepare," 10 Nov. 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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Squander.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/squanderer. Accessed 25 January 2020.

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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

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


dull or mediocre

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