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waste (one's) breath

To talk of, discuss, or say things that are likely to be ignored or are in vain. Don't bother trying to change my mind about this, you're wasting your breath! It looks like I wasted my breath trying to pitch my idea to the board of directors.
See also: breath, waste

waste (someone)

slang To kill or murder someone. Grab your piece and go waste that fool. They sent a hitman to go waste the informant.
See also: waste

waste away

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.
See also: away, waste

waste no time (in) (doing something)

To act or do something immediately or as expediently as possible. Wow, Sarah wasted no time finding a new boyfriend after she and Rob split up. We have to have the application in by tomorrow morning, so we must waste no time in getting everyone's signature that we need.
See also: no, time, waste

waste on (someone or something)

To expend something on a person or thing that will not appreciate or properly utilize it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "waste" and "on." Her talent in art is wasted on me—I have no eye for design.
See also: on, waste

waste time

1. To procrastinate; to avoid doing something, especially by engaging in some frivolous or diversionary activity. Mark, please stop wasting time and get on with your presentation! Whenever I ask the kids to do their chores, they always find some way or another to waste time. You can tell it's Monday because everyone in the office keeps wasting time over by the water cooler.
2. To spend time engaging in idle, unproductive, or unhelpful activities in order to consume spare time. In this usage, a modifier can be used between "waste" and "time." I remember being a kid and wasting huge amounts of time just strolling around the mall on the weekend. Come meet us for a coffee! We're just wasting time near the station until our train leaves.
3. To do or say something that takes up one's or someone else's time in a useless or unhelpful manner. In this usage, a possessive adjective can be used between "waste" and "time." If you don't have anything useful to contribute, then please just get out of here and stop wasting my time. She's wasting her time trying to convince the boss to increase the budget. I hate it when people hold up the ticket counter at airports with these petty complaints. Don't they realize that they're wasting everyone's time?
See also: time, waste


slang Very intoxicated, especially with alcohol. Man, I was so wasted last night! I can barely remember what even happened! You've been drinking and smoking pot all night—you're way too wasted to drive!

youth is wasted on the young

proverb Young people do not appreciate all the good things about youth that they will come to desire once they are older. All the time and energy these kids have at their disposal, and they'd rather sit around all day watching TV instead of exploring the world around them. Youth is wasted on the young!
See also: on, wasted, young, youth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

waste away

to wither or dwindle away. Our money just seemed to waste away. As she grew older, she just sort of wasted away.
See also: away, waste

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

waste away

Lose energy and vigor, become enfeebled and weak, as in She was wasting away before our eyes. [Late 1300s]
See also: away, waste
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.

waste away

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.
See also: away, waste
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.


1. mod. dead; killed. That’s silly. We all end up wasted one way or another.
2. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. I’ve never seen a bartender get wasted before.
3. mod. exhausted. I worked two shifts, and I’m totally wasted.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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