American English

Definition of waste verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they waste
    he / she / it wastes
    past simple wasted
    -ing form wasting
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    not use well
  1. 1to use more of something than is necessary or useful waste something to waste time/food/energy waste something on something Why waste money on clothes you don't need? We got straight down to business without wasting time on small talk. waste something (in) doing something She wasted no time in rejecting the offer (= she rejected it immediately). You're wasting your time trying to explain it to him (= because he will not understand).
  2. 2waste something (on somebody/something) to give, say, use, etc. something good where it is not valued or used in the way that it should be Don't waste your sympathy on him — he got what he deserved. Her comments were not wasted on Chris (= he understood what she meant).
  3. 3[usually passive] to not make good or full use of someone or something waste somebody/something It was a wasted opportunity. His talents are wasted in that job. waste somebody/something as something You're wasted as a sales manager — you should have been an actor.
  4. kill someone
  5. 4waste somebody (informal) to get rid of someone, usually by killing them
  6. defeat someone
  7. 5waste somebody (informal) to defeat someone very easily in a game or competition
  8. Idioms
    waste your breath
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    to say something that no one takes any notice of
    waste not, want not (saying)
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    if you never waste anything, especially food or money, you will always have it when you need it
    Phrasal Verbswaste away
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: waste