Definitions

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

  • adj. Marked by or inclined to waste; extravagant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Inclined to waste or squander money or resources.
  • adj. Uninhabited, desolate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Full of waste; destructive to property; ruinous.
  • adj. Expending, or tending to expend, property, or that which is valuable, in a needless or useless manner; lavish; prodigal.
  • adj. Waste; desolate; unoccupied; untilled.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Destructive; devastating; wasting.
  • Producing or involving waste; occasioning serious loss or damage; ruinous.
  • Extravagant or lavish; profuse to excess; prodigal; squandering: as, a wasteful person.
  • Uninhabited; desolate; waste.
  • Synonyms and
  • Thriftless, unthrifty.
  • Lavish, Profuse, etc. See extravagant.

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

  • adj. laying waste
  • adj. tending to squander and waste
  • adj. inefficient in use of time and effort and materials

Etymologies

From waste +‎ -ful. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Union representatives say the city has yet to do enough to cut what they call wasteful contracts with vendors and find other efficiencies.

    Michigan Sizes Up Taking Over Flint

  • President Obama also faces other challenges from House Republicans, led by the incoming House Speaker John Boehner, who have vowed to cut what they call wasteful government spending.

    Obama Faces Political Challenges Back in Washington

  • Where they differ is on what they define as wasteful spending.

    Social Conflict and Perspective

  • Republicans are seizing on what they characterize as wasteful stimulus spending.

    CNN Transcript Feb 25, 2009

  • TODD (voice-over): At the core of what Republicans say is wrong with the president's bill -- what they call wasteful spending, like $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts or $335 million for education programs to prevent HIV/AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases.

    CNN Transcript Jan 28, 2009

  • Plus, Republican leaders railing against what they call the wasteful budget bill.

    CNN Transcript Mar 6, 2009

  • That he is -- has had a agreement with climate change and what he calls wasteful spending.

    CNN Transcript Sep 4, 2008

  • McCain says he can achieve the goal by cutting what he calls wasteful government spending.

    CNN Transcript Jul 7, 2008

  • But one of the things that John McCain did here at the town hall meeting was really rail against what he thinks is a big problem for Republicans, at least the genesis of a problem for Republicans, and that is what he calls wasteful spending in Washington.

    CNN Transcript Mar 14, 2008

  • But some are outraged over what they call wasteful spending in a new transportation bill.

    CNN Transcript Sep 13, 2007

Comments

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  • Amazing that this word hasn't been listed before today. Here's a definition/anecdote:

    "The cod stocks continued to decline. In 1984, the government introduced quotas on species per vessel per season. This was a controversial and often wasteful system. A groundfish hauled up from fifty fathoms is killed by the change in pressure. But if it is a cod and the cod quota has been used up, it is thrown overboard. Or if the price of cod is low that week and cod happen to come in the haddock or plaice net, the fishermen will throw them overboard because they do not want to use up their cod quota when they are not getting a good price."
    —Mark Kurlansky, Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World (New York: Penguin, 1997), 172

    July 17, 2009