fritter away(redirected from frittering 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.
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?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer