wast·​rel | \ ˈwā-strəl also ˈwä- How to pronounce wastrel (audio) \

Definition of wastrel

1 : vagabond, waif
2 : one who expends resources foolishly and self-indulgently : profligate

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Examples of wastrel in a Sentence

the black sheep of the family, he ended up being a wastrel and a drunkard

Recent Examples on the Web

McCoy is certain that the victims’ deaths can be traced to the door of the richest family in Glasgow—whose ice-cold patriarch and his wastrel son are rumored to host orgies laced with drugs and sadism. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: Glaswegian Goons," 4 May 2018 Improvising about golf was easy for me.’ —Bill Murray The movie stars a stuffed-shirt WASP tyrant (Ted Knight), a playboy hedonist wastrel ( Chevy Chase ) and a nouveau riche vulgarian in Day-Glo slacks (Rodney Dangerfield). Chris Nashawaty, WSJ, "How the ‘Caddyshack’ Revolution Upended Hollywood," 19 Apr. 2018 Her lover, Dan, has been killed by her husband, Joshua (the excellent Charlie DelMarcelle), who is now a dispirited and ironical wastrel who drinks too much after many years in prison. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "EgoPo's 'Madaket Road' is an odd, complicated, disturbing and moving conclusion of 'Lydie Breeze Trilogy'," 14 Apr. 2018 The representatives of the most obviously self-indulgent wastrel ever to waddle through the White House? Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "Of Course Republicans Will Keep Letting Trump Slide," 7 Feb. 2018 His dad, John Paul Getty II (Andrew Buchan), is a wastrel and a drug addict who can't take care of himself, let alone a teenager. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "'Money' talks in Ridley Scott drama," 22 Dec. 2017 Beneath the retro kitsch of hairspray, lycra, and Jane Fonda workouts is a winning examination of friendship and ambition, built around a cast of misfit performers and their brash wastrel of a director (Marc Maron). Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The 20 Best TV Shows of 2017," 11 Dec. 2017 Eddie is a wastrel, but one who does his own grocery-shopping, fervently embraces his frumpy wife, and enthuses over the Boston Bruins’ Bobby Orr. Peter Tonguette, WSJ, "The Versatile Robert Mitchum," 31 July 2017 The author’s wastrel sons, Denis and Adrian, depended on income from the detective to finance addictions to fast cars and big-game hunting, which at times threatened to bankrupt the Estate. Michael Saler, WSJ, "Holmes off the Page," 4 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wastrel.' 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 wastrel

circa 1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wastrel

irregular from waste entry 2

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Time Traveler for wastrel

The first known use of wastrel was circa 1841

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English Language Learners Definition of wastrel

literary : a person who wastes time, money, etc.

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Comments on wastrel

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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