Definitions

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

  • n. One who wastes, especially one who wastes money; a profligate.
  • n. An idler or a loafer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One who is profligate, who wastes time or resources extravagantly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any waste thing or substance.
  • n. Waste land or common land.
  • n. A profligate.
  • n. A neglected child; a street Arab.
  • n. Anything cast away as bad or useless, as imperfect bricks, china, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Anything cast away as spoiled in the making, or bad; waste; refuse.
  • n. Anything allowed to run to waste.
  • n. A profligate.

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

  • n. someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently

Etymologies

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

wast(e) + -rel (as in scoundrel).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1847, waste +‎ -rel (“(pejorative)”).

Examples

Comments

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  • I love this word and it isn't used enough these days, in my opinion. Came across it the other day and the quote stuck with me.

    "Jane never once wrote anything about him expressing the least affection. She hardly ever wrote anything about him at all. ... She left her parents' church to marry Edward Mecom... Brattle Street was also Edward Mecom's church. He led the church in singing psalms. He had a beautiful voice. He once proposed opening a singing school. Maybe she loved the sound of him.

    "If there was something at home that Jane had wanted to run from, marrying proved no escape. Edward Mecom had no place of his own. Once they were married, he simply moved in....

    "Jane was restless and impatient and even saucy and provoking. The day she got married, she might also have been pregnant, which would explain why her father gave her permission to marry so unpromising a man at so unwise an age. Very many eighteenth-century brides were pregnant when they married. Neither a fortress nor a Maidenhead will hold out long after they begin to parly, says Poor Richard. A Harvard society even debated, in 1721, 'whether it be lawful to lie with one's sweetheart before marriage.'

    "But in the parish register of the Brattle Street Church, the first child recorded as having been born to Jane Franklin and Edward Mecom didn't arrive until nearly two years after their wedding. If she was pregnant when she married, she either miscarried or gave birth to a baby born dead. And then she might have stared out across the water in the harbor and known that she had married a wastrel for naught."

    --Jill Lepore, Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), p. 53-54

    April 28, 2017

  • Go birch yourself, yarb.

    February 26, 2010

  • I am the village wastrel.

    February 26, 2010

  • Yarb birched the village wastrel.

    February 26, 2010

  • almost synonymous with 'rich man's son'

    April 13, 2009

  • a wasteful person

    September 16, 2007