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

Miami has squandered a number of chances to score recently, and the club has gone 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position during the first two games against the Brewers this week. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "A Closer Look: Milwaukee Brewers 8, Miami Marlins 4," 11 July 2018 In each case, the opposition squandered that vital chance to save the system. Yascha Mounk, Slate Magazine, "2018: The Year We Fight Back," 2 Jan. 2018 Some people are born into a rich family and squander everything, never learning what has real value. Randy Blaser, chicagotribune.com, "Our country needs to get back to the basics – it's all about equality," 28 June 2018 Portugal, with two controversial penalties, one saved and one scored, had squandered the top spot in the group. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Spain, Portugal Emerge From World Cup Group After Influential Use of VAR," 25 June 2018 Masahiro Tanaka is expected to miss several weeks with hamstring injuries, and on Wednesday Sonny Gray squandered a two-run lead against the Nationals as his earned run average rose to 4.98. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Yankees Fall to Nationals as Steinbrenner Hints at Pitching Acquisition," 13 June 2018 Once the answers are obvious (somewhere around the halfway point) the play's squandered its dramatic purpose. Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader, "In the world of Grace, no amount of foreshadowing is too much," 18 May 2018 Eritrea’s enormous potential for tourism—a sparkling coast and, in Asmara, one of the continent’s most beautiful cities with a wealth of Art Deco buildings—has been mostly squandered. The Economist, "Ethiopia and Eritrea put an end to two decades of conflict," 10 July 2018 However, the opportunity was squandered as Magnanimo struck out the final two batters to end the game. Jeff Tully, latimes.com, "Home run sinks La Cañada softball in quarterfinals," 24 May 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

8 Sep 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

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an open space surrounded by woods

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