go to waste


verb (used with object), wasted, wasting.
to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words.
to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity.
to destroy or consume gradually; wear away: The waves waste the rock of the shore.
to wear down or reduce in bodily substance, health, or strength; emaciate; enfeeble: to be wasted by disease or hunger.
to destroy, devastate, or ruin: a country wasted by a long and futile war.
Slang. to kill or murder.
verb (used without object), wasted, wasting.
to be consumed, spent, or employed uselessly or without giving full value or being fully utilized or appreciated.
to become gradually consumed, used up, or worn away: A candle wastes in burning.
to become physically worn; lose flesh or strength; become emaciated or enfeebled.
to diminish gradually; dwindle, as wealth, power, etc.: The might of England is wasting.
to pass gradually, as time.
useless consumption or expenditure; use without adequate return; an act or instance of wasting: The project was a waste of material, money, time, and energy.
neglect, instead of use: waste of opportunity.
gradual destruction, impairment, or decay: the waste and repair of bodily tissue.
devastation or ruin, as from war or fire.
a region or place devastated or ruined: The forest fire left a blackened waste.
anything unused, unproductive, or not properly utilized.
an uncultivated tract of land.
a wild region or tract of land; desolate country, desert, or the like.
an empty, desolate, or dreary tract or extent: a waste of snow.
anything left over or superfluous, as excess material or by-products, not of use for the work in hand: a fortune made in salvaging factory wastes.
remnants, as from the working of cotton, used for wiping machinery, absorbing oil, etc.
Physical Geography. material derived by mechanical and chemical disintegration of rock, as the detritus transported by streams, rivers, etc.
garbage; refuse.
wastes, excrement.
not used or in use: waste energy; waste talents.
(of land, regions, etc.) wild, desolate, barren, or uninhabited; desert.
(of regions, towns, etc.) in a state of desolation and ruin, as from devastation or decay.
left over or superfluous: to utilize waste products of manufacture.
having served or fulfilled a purpose; no longer of use.
rejected as useless or worthless; refuse: to salvage waste products.
Physiology. pertaining to material unused by or unusable to the organism.
designed or used to receive, hold, or carry away excess, superfluous, used, or useless material (often in combination): a waste pipe; waste container.
Obsolete. excessive; needless.
go to waste, to fail to be used or consumed; be wasted: She hates to see good food go to waste.
lay waste, to devastate; destroy; ruin: Forest fires lay waste thousands of acres yearly.

1150–1200; 1960–65 for def 6; (adj.) Middle English < Old North French wast (Old French g(u)ast) < Latin vāstus desolate; (v.) Middle English < Old North French waster (Old French g(u)aster) < Latin vāstāre, derivative of vāstus; (noun) Middle English < Old North French wast(e) (Old French g(u)aste), partly < Latin vāstum, noun use of neuter of vāstus, partly derivative of waster; Old North French w-, Old French gu- by influence of cognate with Frankish *wōsti desolate (cognate with Old High German wuosti)

wastable, adjective
wasteless, adjective
outwaste, verb (used with object), outwasted, outwasting.
unwastable, adjective

waist, waste.

1. misspend, dissipate, fritter away, expend. 3. erode. 5. ravage, pillage, plunder, sack, spoil, despoil. 10. decline, perish, wane, decay. 12. dissipation. 14. diminution, decline, emaciation, consumption. 15. spoliation, desolation. 24. rubbish, trash. 28. ruined, ghostly, destroyed. 29. unused, useless, extra.

1. save.

19. See desert1. 36. See ravage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
waste (weɪst)
vb (when intr, often foll by away)
1.  (tr) to use, consume, or expend thoughtlessly, carelessly, or to no avail
2.  (tr) to fail to take advantage of: to waste an opportunity
3.  to lose or cause to lose bodily strength, health, etc
4.  to exhaust or become exhausted
5.  (tr) to ravage
6.  informal (tr) to murder or kill: I want that guy wasted by tomorrow
7.  the act of wasting or state of being wasted
8.  a failure to take advantage of something
9.  anything unused or not used to full advantage
10.  anything or anyone rejected as useless, worthless, or in excess of what is required
11.  garbage, rubbish, or trash
12.  a land or region that is devastated or ruined
13.  a land or region that is wild or uncultivated
14.  physiol
 a.  the useless products of metabolism
 b.  indigestible food residue
15.  disintegrated rock material resulting from erosion
16.  law reduction in the value of an estate caused by act or neglect, esp by a life-tenant
17.  rejected as useless, unwanted, or worthless
18.  produced in excess of what is required
19.  not cultivated, inhabited, or productive: waste land
20.  a.  of or denoting the useless products of metabolism
 b.  of or denoting indigestible food residue
21.  destroyed, devastated, or ruined
22.  designed to contain or convey waste products
23.  lay waste to devastate or destroy
[C13: from Anglo-French waster, from Latin vastāre to lay waste, from vastus empty]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1200, "desolate regions," from O.Fr. wast, from L. vastum, neut. of vastus "waste" (see waste (v.)); replacing O.E. westen, woesten "a desert, wilderness," from the L. word. Meaning "useless expenditure" is recorded from c.1300; sense of "refuse matter" is attested from
c.1430. Waste basket first recorded 1850.

c.1200, "devastate, ravage, ruin," from Anglo-Fr. and O.N.Fr. waster "to spoil, ruin" (O.Fr. guaster), altered (by influence of Frankish *wostjan) from L. vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate, waste" (see vain). The word also existed in O.E. as westan. Meaning
"to lose strength or health; pine; weaken" is attested from c.1300; the sense of "squander, spend or consume uselessly" is first recorded mid-14c.; meaning "to kill" is from 1964. Wasted "intoxicated" is slang from 1950s. The adj. is recorded from late 13c.; waste-water is attested from mid-15c.; waste-paper first recorded 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

waste (wāst)
v. wast·ed, wast·ing, wastes
To gradually lose energy, strength, or bodily substance, as from disease. n.
The undigested residue of food eliminated from the body; excrement.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
waste  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (wāst)  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   An unusable or unwanted substance or material, such as a waste product. See also hazardous waste, landfill.

Verb   To lose or cause to lose energy, strength, weight, or vigor, as by the progressive effects of a disease such as metastatic cancer.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

go to waste

Fail to be used or taken advantage of. For example, I hate to see such talent go to waste, or We bought so much food that some will be going to waste. [c. 1500]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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