waste not, want not

Idioms & Phrases

waste not, want not

Wise use of one's resources will keep one from poverty. For example, I just hate to throw out good foodwaste not, want not. This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: waste away
Next Definition: waste one's breath
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for waste not, want not
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing waste not, want not
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature