v. wast·ed, wast·ing, wastes
1. To use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly.
2. To cause to lose energy, strength, or vigor; exhaust, tire, or enfeeble: Disease wasted his body.
3. To fail to take advantage of or use for profit; lose: waste an opportunity.
a. To destroy completely: The invaders wasted the village.
b. Slang To kill; murder.
1. To lose energy, strength, weight, or vigor; become weak or enfeebled: wasting away from an illness.
2. To pass without being put to use: Time is wasting.
1. The act or an instance of wasting or the condition of being wasted: a waste of talent; gone to waste.
2. A place, region, or land that is uninhabited or uncultivated; a desert or wilderness.
3. A devastated or destroyed region, town, or building; a ruin.
a. An unusable or unwanted substance or material, such as a waste product: industrial wastes.
b. Something, such as steam, that escapes without being used.
5. Garbage; trash.
6. The undigested residue of food eliminated from the body; excrement.
1. Regarded or discarded as worthless or useless: waste trimmings.
2. Used as a conveyance or container for refuse: a waste bin.
3. Excreted from the body: waste matter.
waste (one's) breath
To gain or accomplish nothing by speaking.
[Middle English wasten, from Old North French waster, from Latin vāstāre, to make empty, from vāstus, empty; see euə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: waste, blow1, dissipate, fritter1, squander
These verbs mean to spend or expend without restraint and often to no avail: wasted my inheritance; blew a fortune at the casino; dissipated their energies in pointless argument; frittering away her entire allowance; squandered his talent on writing jingles.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus