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[weyst-fuh l] /ˈweɪst fəl/
given to or characterized by useless consumption or expenditure:
wasteful methods; a wasteful way of life.
grossly extravagant; prodigal:
a wasteful party.
devastating or destructive:
wasteful war.
Origin of wasteful
1250-1300; Middle English; see waste, -ful
Related forms
wastefully, adverb
wastefulness, noun
unwasteful, adjective
unwastefully, adverb
unwastefulness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for wasteful
  • It's less wasteful to purchase a small bottle, and the containers are recyclable.
  • The alternative would be wasteful, not to mention downright cruel.
  • It was brilliant and aggressive, but it was wasteful of the life and substance of its common people.
  • But dress has subtler and more far-reaching possibilities than this crude, first-hand evidence of wasteful consumption only.
  • High-tech harvesting and wasteful management have brought world fish stocks to dangerous lows.
  • Water them only when necessary and during the coolest times of the day to avoid wasteful evaporation.
  • Lighting up a house is a necessary use of energy, but also an often needlessly wasteful one.
  • Water will become even more precious-and reservoirs, which lose vast amounts through evaporation, will seem intolerably wasteful.
  • Manufacturing created new products, as well as new wasteful byproducts.
  • Less wasteful mining methods and the recycling of materials will help conserve mineral resources.
British Dictionary definitions for wasteful


tending to waste or squander; extravagant
causing waste, destruction, or devastation
Derived Forms
wastefully, adverb
wastefulness, noun
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 wasteful

14c., from waste (n.) + -ful. Related: Wastefully; wastefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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