Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
To waste or squander something, often in small increments. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fritter" and "away." If you keep frittering away your savings on sales at the mall, you'll be broke again in no time.
fritter something away (on someone or something)
to waste something, such as money, on someone or something, foolishly. Did you fritter good money away on that old car? You frittered away one hundred dollars on that piece of junk?
Squander or waste little by little; wear down gradually. For example, She frittered away her salary on odds and ends and saved nothing. This expression was first recorded in Alexander Pope's Dunciad (1728): "How prologues into prefaces decay, And these to notes are fritter'd quite away."
To gradually use something up, especially wastefully or without serious purpose: They frittered away their inheritance. I frittered my lottery winnings away on bad investments. I frittered away my vacation time watching television.