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1. To dwindle toward a state of nothingness or complete decrepitude; to wither away. He didn't want them to see him wasting away from the cancer. The old industrial site just sits out there wasting away, unable to be rezoned due to contamination.
2. To squander something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "waste" and "away." I feel like we've been wasting away every weekend watching TV. Let's try to get out of the house tomorrow. The old fool wasted his fortune away on trips to the casino.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
waste something away
to use something up wastefully; to dissipate something. He wasted all his money away and had to live in poverty. They wasted away everything and regretted it later.
to wither or dwindle away. Our money just seemed to waste away. As she grew older, she just sort of wasted away.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Lose energy and vigor, become enfeebled and weak, as in She was wasting away before our eyes. [Late 1300s]
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.
1. To lose energy, strength, weight, or vigor; become weak or enfeebled: The patient wasted away from cancer.
2. To spend some time idly or wastefully: They are wasting their lives away playing video games. The idle rich waste away their days.
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.