Thesaurus

waste

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of waste

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 an instance of spending money or resources without care or restraint
  • it seems like a waste to spend my entire paycheck on a bigger TV

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2 discarded or useless material
  • gathered up the waste when he was finished sewing

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3 land that is uninhabited or not fit for crops
  • an area that was a barren waste after the strip-mining had ended

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4 solid matter discharged from an animal's alimentary canal
  • a local ordinance requiring dog owners to properly dispose of their pet's waste

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5 a wide space or area
  • a legendary mariner doomed to sail the watery wastes of the world until Judgment Day

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6 a gradual weakening, loss, or destruction
  • the slow waste of the once broad beach by the relentless tide

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waste

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of waste (Entry 2 of 3)

1 to use up carelessly
  • he wasted his lottery winnings on booze-soaked nights with gold diggers

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2 to bring to a complete end the physical soundness, existence, or usefulness of
  • one country attempting to waste another

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3 to diminish the physical strength of
  • endless months of inactivity wasted him

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waste

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of waste (Entry 3 of 3)

producing inferior or only a small amount of vegetation
  • waste acreage that was not fit for anything

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About waste

How does the verb waste contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of waste are despoil, devastate, pillage, ravage, and sack. While all these words mean "to lay waste by plundering or destroying," waste may imply producing the same result by a slow process rather than sudden and violent action.

years of drought had wasted the area

When would despoil be a good substitute for waste?

In some situations, the words despoil and waste are roughly equivalent. However, despoil applies to looting or robbing without suggesting accompanying destruction.

the Nazis despoiled the art museums

When is it sensible to use devastate instead of waste?

Although the words devastate and waste have much in common, devastate implies the complete ruin and desolation of a wide area.

an earthquake devastated the city

How are the words pillage and sack related as synonyms of waste?

Pillage implies ruthless plundering at will but without the completeness suggested by sack.

settlements pillaged by Vikings

When is ravage a more appropriate choice than waste?

The words ravage and waste are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, ravage implies violent often cumulative depredation and destruction.

a hurricane ravaged the coast

In what contexts can sack take the place of waste?

The synonyms sack and waste are sometimes interchangeable, but sack implies carrying off all valuable possessions from a place.

barbarians sacked ancient Rome

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Time Traveler for waste

Time Traveler

The first known use of waste was in the 13th century

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Statistics for waste

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Waste.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/waste. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on waste

Dictionary: Definition of waste

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waste

Medical Dictionary: Definition of waste

Spanish Central: Translation of waste

Nglish: Translation of waste for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of waste for Arabic Speakers

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