|2.||to break or tear into small pieces; shred|
|3.||a small piece; shred|
|[C18: probably from obsolete fitter to break into small pieces, ultimately from Old English fitt a piece]|
Squander or waste little by little; wear down gradually. For example, She frittered away her salary on odds and ends and saved nothing. This expression was first recorded in Alexander Pope's Dunciad (1728): "How prologues into prefaces decay, And these to notes are fritter'd quite away."