fritter away

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fritter away

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.
See also: away
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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?
See also: away
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fritter away

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."
See also: away
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fritter away

v.
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.
See also: away
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fritter away

Gradually waste or wear down. This seemingly rustic expression was used by Alexander Pope in The Dunciad (1728), in which he lampooned all his literary enemies: “How prologues into prefaces decay, And these to notes are fritter’d quite away.”
See also: away
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"I understand, it was frittered away in satin, precious stones, velvet, and feathers of all sorts and colors.
And you are very far from telling me this; but declare every action to be virtue which is done with a part of virtue; as though you had told me and I must already know the whole of virtue, and this too when frittered away into little pieces.
All the features of all the faces I met seemed frittered away, because my eye failed to recognize the peculiarities it was bent upon; an ample space of brow and a large, dark, and serious eye, with a fine but decided line of eyebrow traced above.
And as he frittered away the sums that flowed in, he advertised for more--and got it.
SNP MP Deidre Brock said: "David Mundell needs to put the credit card away - and explain why there has been such an astronomical and indefensible increase in taxpayers' cash being frittered away by his zombie department."
A MIDLAND Council worker who frittered away more than PS200,000 of public funds on horses, a flat deposit and a holiday to Turkey has been jailed.
A COUNCIL worker frittered away more than PS200,000 of public funds on horses, a flat deposit and a holiday to Turkey.
The gain from the Fund package has been frittered away and the country now stands at the crossroads of a financial default.
However, Moreno regressed alarmingly in the second-half of Tuesday's 3-3 draw with Sevilla in the Champions League as Klopp's Reds carelessly frittered away a three-goal lead .
The Tories are quite happy to forget these people and sit back watching all of the millions which charities raised being frittered away.
It could just have easily been the PS3bn they wasted on NHS reorganisation or the scandal of money frittered away on "free" schools that weren't needed and didn't even open.
ISLAMABAD -- Billions have been frittered away on advertisements of power projects in four years.
Islamabad -- 'Billion of rupees have been frittered away on advertisements of power projects in four years.
We would then know some of it at least was being put to good use and not frittered away by foreign governments and corrupt officials.
Derby Crown Court confirmed yesterday that Banner, who is still in prison, had gained PS7,000 from her crimes, but will be forced to pay the nominal sum of PS1 as she had "frittered away" the rest.