from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To use, consume, spend, or expend thoughtlessly or carelessly.
  • intransitive verb To cause to lose energy, strength, or vigor; exhaust, tire, or enfeeble.
  • intransitive verb To fail to take advantage of or use for profit; lose.
  • intransitive verb To destroy completely.
  • intransitive verb Slang To kill; murder.
  • intransitive verb To lose energy, strength, weight, or vigor; become weak or enfeebled.
  • intransitive verb To pass without being put to use.
  • noun The act or an instance of wasting or the condition of being wasted.
  • noun A place, region, or land that is uninhabited or uncultivated; a desert or wilderness.
  • noun A devastated or destroyed region, town, or building; a ruin.
  • noun An unusable or unwanted substance or material, such as a waste product.
  • noun Something, such as steam, that escapes without being used.
  • noun Garbage; trash.
  • noun The undigested residue of food eliminated from the body; excrement.
  • adjective Regarded or discarded as worthless or useless.
  • adjective Used as a conveyance or container for refuse.
  • adjective Excreted from the body.
  • idiom (waste (one's) breath) To gain or accomplish nothing by speaking.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To lay waste; devastate; destroy; ruin.
  • In law, to damage, injure, or impair, as an estate, voluntarily, or by allowing the build ings, fences, etc., to fail into decay.
  • To diminish or reduce in bulk, substance, strength, value, or the like, as by continued use, wear, loss, decay, or disease; consume or wear away; use up; spend.
  • To expend without adequate return; spend uselessly, vainly, or foolishly; employ or use lavishly, prodigally, improvidently, or carelessly; squander; throw away.
  • Synonyms To ravage, pillage, plunder, strip.
  • To dissipate, fritter away.
  • To be consumed or grow gradually less in bulk, substance, strength, value, or the like; wear or pine away; decay or diminish gradually; dwindle.
  • Desert; desolate; uninhabited.
  • In a state of desolation and decay; ruined; ruinous; blank; cheerless; dismal; dreary.
  • Unused; untilled; unproductive.
  • Rejected as unfit for use, or spoiled in the using; refuse; hence, of little or no value; useless: as, waste paper; waste materials.
  • Idle; empty; vain; of no value or significance.
  • Exuberant; over-abundant; hence, super-fluous; useless.
  • Wasteful; prodigal; profuse.
  • noun In physical geography, detritus derived by the superficial disintegration of rock-masses and in process of removal by transporting agencies; rock-waste.
  • noun An old spelling of waist.
  • noun A wild, uninhabited, or desolate place or region; a desert; a wilder ness.
  • noun Unfilled or uncultivated ground; a tract of land not in a state of cultivation, and producing little or no herbage or wood.
  • noun In coal-mining, gob; also, the fine coal made in mining and preparing coal for the market; culm; coal-dirt; dirt: in the Pennsylvania an thracite region, used to signify both the mine-waste (or coal left in the mine in pillars, etc.) and the breaker waste.
  • noun Gradual loss, diminution, or decay, as in bulk, substance, strength, or value, from continued use, wear, disease, etc.: as, waste of tissue; waste of energy.
  • noun Consumption; decline; a pining away.
  • noun Broken, spoiled, useless, or superfluous material; stuff that is left over, or that is unfitted or cannot readily be utilized for the purpose for which it was intended; overplus, useless, or rejected material; refuse, as the overflow water from a dam or reservoir, broken or spoiled castings in a foundry, paper scraps in a printing-office or bindery, or shreds of yarn in a cotton- or woolen-mill.
  • noun Rubbish; trash; nonsense.
  • noun A weir or sluice for carrying off the over flow from a dam, reservoir, or canal.
  • noun A waste-pipe, or any contrivance for allowing waste matter or surplus water, steam, etc., to escape.
  • noun Unnecessary or useless expenditure: as, waste of time, labor, or money.
  • noun A superfluity.
  • noun In law, anything suffered by a tenant in the nature of permanent injury to the inheritance, not occasioned by the act of God or a public enemy; the result of any act or omission by the tenant of a particular estate by which the estate of the remainder-man or reversioner is rendered less valuable.
  • noun Synonyms Refuse, Damage, etc. See loss.
  • In stone-cutting, to take off projecting irregularities of, as in preparing the stone for crating and transportation. Usually with off.


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

[Middle English wasten, from Old North French waster, from Latin vāstāre, to make empty, from vāstus, empty; see euə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English waste (adjective, "waste"), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wast ("waste"), from Old Frankish *wuasti, *wuosti (“waste, empty”), from Proto-Germanic *wōstijaz (“wasted, abandoned, empty”), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (“empty, wasted”). Cognate with Old High German wuosti, wuasti ("waste, empty"), Old Saxon wōsti ("desolate"), Old English wēste ("waste, barren, desolate, empty").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wasten ("to waste, lay waste"), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French waster ("to waste, devastate") (cf. also the variant gaster and French gâter from a related Old French word); the Anglo-Norman form waster was either from Old Frankish *wuastan, *wuostan, *wuostjan (“to lay waste, devastate”), from Proto-Germanic *wōstijanan (“to waste”), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (“empty, wasted”), or alternatively from Latin vastāre, present active infinitive of vastō and influenced by the Frankish; the English word was assisted by similarity to native Middle English westen ("to waste"; > English weest). Cognate with Old High German wuostan, wuastan, wuostjan ("to waste"; > Modern German wüsten), Old English wēstan ("to lay waste, ravage").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English waste (noun, "a waste"), from Anglo-Norman, Old Northern French wast, waste ("a waste"), from Old Frankish *wuasti, *wuosti (“a waste”) and *wōstin, *wōstinna (“a waste, wasteland, desert”), from Proto-Germanic *wōstī (“a waste”), *wōstinjō (“a waste, wasteland”), from Proto-Indo-European *wāsto- (“empty, wasted”). Cognate with Old High German wuosti, wuasti ("a waste"; > Modern German Wüste), Old High German wuostinna ("a desert, waste"), Old English wēsten ("a waste, wasteland"). Non Germanic cognates include Latin vastus ("waste, desert") and Albanian vjeshtë ("autumn").


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  • W - As - Te (tungsten, arsenic, tellurium)

    February 2, 2013