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fritter1

[frit-er] /ˈfrɪt ər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to squander or disperse piecemeal; waste little by little (usually followed by away):
to fritter away one's money; to fritter away an afternoon.
2.
to break or tear into small pieces or shreds.
verb (used without object)
3.
to dwindle, shrink, degenerate, etc. (often followed by away):
to watch one's fortune fritter away.
4.
to separate or break into fragments:
a plastic material having a tendency to fritter.
noun
5.
a small piece, fragment, or shred.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; earlier fitter, derivative of fit (Old English fitt) a part
Related forms
fritterer, noun
unfrittered, adjective
Synonyms
1. dissipate, frivol away, idle away.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fritter away

fritter1

/ˈfrɪtə/
verb (transitive)
1.
(usually foll by away) to waste or squander: to fritter away time
2.
to break or tear into small pieces; shred
noun
3.
a small piece; shred
Derived Forms
fritterer, noun
Word Origin
C18: probably from obsolete fitter to break into small pieces, ultimately from Old English fitt a piece

fritter2

/ˈfrɪtə/
noun
1.
a piece of food, such as apple or clam, that is dipped in batter and fried in deep fat
Word Origin
C14: from Old French friture, from Latin frictus fried, roasted, from frīgere to fry, parch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fritter away

fritter

v.

"whittle away," 1728, from fritters "fragment or shred," possibly from a noun sense, but this is not recorded as early as the verb; perhaps an alteration of 16c. fitters "fragments or pieces," perhaps ultimately from Old French fraiture "a breaking," from Latin fractura. Or perhaps from a Germanic source (cf. Middle High German vetze "clothes, rags").

n.

"fried batter," late 14c., from Old French friture "fritter, pancake, something fried" (12c.), from Late Latin frictura "a frying," from frigere "to roast, fry" (see fry (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for fritter away

fritter away

verb phrase

To squander and dissipate, esp little by little: These politicians are frittering away whatever credit they still possess with the public

[1728+; fr earlier sense of fritter, ''to break into small pieces'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with fritter away

fritter away

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.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for fritter away

fritter

any of three types of fried foods. Plain fritters are deep-fried cakes of chou paste or a yeast dough. In a second type bits of meat, seafood, vegetables, or fruit are coated with a batter and deep fried. Small cakes of chopped food in batter, such as corn fritters in the southern United States, are also called fritters.

Learn more about fritter with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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