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


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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Not quite squander-two-match-points-serving-in-the-Wimbledon-final anguish, but a different kind. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "50 Parting Thoughts From the 2019 U.S. Open," 8 Sep. 2019 The Buzz: For the second week in a row, Florida State squandered a double-digit first-half lead, but this time around the Seminoles survived an upset bid by Louisiana-Monroe in overtime. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "FSU, Miami among college football teams coming off disappointing weekends," 8 Sep. 2019 Since 1939, Coogan's Law — named for child star Jackie Coogan, whose parents squandered his fortune — has protected the earnings of professional child performers. Ines Novacic, CBS News, ""It's kinda crazy": Kid influencers make big money on social media, and few rules apply," 23 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, California has squandered years and billions of dollars on a bullet train to nowhere. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: US Highway 1 from Watsonville to Santa Cruz is a daily parking lot," 21 Aug. 2019 As a result, the Democratic supermajority—something the party might not see again for a generation or more—was squandered. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Do Democrats Have a Plan for the Next Recession?," 16 Aug. 2019 The Raptors had already squandered one chance to win the best-of-seven series, falling at home, 106-105, after having won three of the first four games. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Toronto Raptors beat Golden State Warriors for first NBA title," 14 June 2019 The pace of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane was also proving to be a headache for Napoli on the counterattack, with the Senegalese forward squandering a glorious opportunity to play his teammate in on goal. Matias Grez, CNN, "Liverpool stunned by Napoli late goals in the Champions League," 17 Sep. 2019 With virtually no pass rush and Brees picking them apart in the second half, the Texans' defense was extremely vulnerable and contributed heavily to squandering a 14-3 halftime lead. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Aaron Colvin has rough start to 2nd season with Texans," 9 Sep. 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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Statistics for squander

Last Updated

20 Oct 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 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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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

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


to be made up of

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