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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 unfrittered

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
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Word Origin and History for unfrittered

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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Encyclopedia Article for unfrittered

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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