Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Careless in handling money; wasteful.
  • adj. Archaic Lacking usefulness or value.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. wastefully reckless in the use of money or other resources

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Without thrift; not prudent or prosperous in money affairs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having no thrift, frugality, or good management; profuse; extravagant.
  • Producing no gain; unprofitable.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. careless of the future

Etymologies

thrift +‎ -less (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • When a cow-puncher is said to be working the grub line, he is known as a thriftless cowman who cannot hold a job long anywhere, and who travels from ranch to ranch, staying only long enough at each to get fed up, then passing on with a few dollars in his pocket, to repeat the operation elsewhere.

    Ted Strong in Montana With Lariat and Spur

  • If many of them lived on the knife-edge of poverty, it was as much a result of their low wages and unsteady employment as any "thriftless" habits of alcoholism or gambling.

    NPR Topics: News

  • His use of anecdote is both masterly and thriftless; he takes episodes around which less skilful writers would have built entire chapters and delivers them in a few perfectly weighted sentences.

    Animal Magic: A Brother's Story by Andrew Barrow – review

  • One Dr F. W. Mott claimed that children born to the pauper, to the alien Jew, to the Irish Roman Catholic, to the thriftless casual labourers, to the criminals all carried a neuropathic taint, a comment echoed by another doctor who claimed that unregulated immigration made Great Britain a dumping ground for the unfit and that England had become the asylum of the world.16

    Bedlam

  • Five years earlier those scions of the radical Left, the Webbs, published a Fabian tract warning that children are being born freely to Irish Roman Catholics and the Polish, Russian and German Jews, the thriftless and irresponsible ...

    Chesterton and the Eugenic Nightmare

  • Some day you will bitterly deplore his ineptitude, his thriftless ways, his selfishness, his lack of delicacy, his inability to understand love, and countless troubles arising through him.

    A Woman of Thirty

  • No reconstruction of society can avail for incompetent, indifferent, thriftless men who cannot work together.

    Black and White

  • Like a wise man he had set to work to rebuild the injured popularity of his house and stop up the gaps and ruins in which his name had been left by his disreputable and thriftless old predecessor.

    Vanity Fair

  • It had been only a matter of fifty pounds, which Barnet could well afford to lose, and he bore no ill-will to the thriftless surgeon on account of it.

    Wessex Tales

  • Giles had once done that thriftless man a good turn, and now was the moment when Beaucock had chosen to remember it in his own way.

    The Woodlanders

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Comments

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  • Nice word!

    Not to be confused with shiftless.

    September 6, 2008

  • The Californians are an idle, thriftless people, and can make nothing for themselves.

    - Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast, ch. 13

    September 6, 2008