Word of the Day Archive
Friday June 28, 2002
1. A person who wastes, especially one who squanders money; a spendthrift.
2. An idler; a loafer; a good-for-nothing.
Horace Liveright, the book publisher of the 1920's, is usually recalled in literary memoirs as a charming wastrel, a gambler who always saw a winning bet as a chance to raise his stake in whatever game he was losing at.
-- Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "Disastrous Life of a Pioneer in Hype", New York Times, July 27, 1995
Thad risked everything, including his farm, to set Abner up in the grocery business in the town of Hargrave, only to have Abner turn wastrel and lose everything.
-- John Kenny Crane, "Good Fellers", New York Times, November 15, 1992
Was her father . . . the brilliant, glamorous figure she remembered, or the alcoholic wastrel his own brother described?
-- Jean Strouse, "Making the Facts Obey", New York Times, May 24, 1992
Wastrel is from waste + -rel (as in scoundrel).