waste away

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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
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.
See also: away, waste

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
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

v.
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.
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References in classic literature ?
How he wasted and wasted away in those few long-lingering days, till there seemed but little left of him but his frame and tattooing.
If you have to fly about to find every meal you eat, your muscles do not become atrophied (atrophied means wasted away through want of use).
The crowds of agricultural labourers who had come out to the country in his wake, dazzled by representations of easy independence, had suffered, died, and wasted away. He would see mothers from English farms trudging along with their infants in their arms, when the child would be stricken with fever and would die; the mother would pause to dig a hole in the loose earth with her bare hands, would bury the babe therein with the same natural grave-tools, shed one tear, and again trudge on.
It was the house which Nicolas Flamel had built, where he had died about 1417, and which, constantly deserted since that time, had already begun to fall in ruins,--so greatly had the hermetics and the alchemists of all countries wasted away the walls, merely by carving their names upon them.
But, if he carries on the softening and soothing process, in the next stage he begins to melt and waste, until he has wasted away his spirit and cut out the sinews of his soul; and he becomes a feeble warrior.
The hours wasted away, and hunger came to tor- ment the captives again.
The scanty parish dress, the livery of his misery, hung loosely on his feeble body; and his young limbs had wasted away, like those of an old man.
- It would serve you right to come back and find my good looks entirely wasted away. I would beg my uncle and aunt, or my brother, to come and see me, but I do not like to complain of my loneliness to them, and indeed loneliness is the least of my sufferings.
He lay beside the pool until he wasted away and died.
This film, to which his 22-year-old son Fraser contributed footage, documents the details of Steve's progressive condition and the decline in his health as muscles wasted away, as well as revealing the effect it has had on his family, who have been pushed to the brink by his desire to live at almost any cost.
Redcar and Cleveland is one of the highest paying council taxes in the country and I'd like to know why, when our money is being wasted away, at the same time libraries are closing, adult education centres are struggling or closing down.
I hate the way he carved up his handsome face and wasted away because of his obsession with youth.
Which means the amount of electricity we consume in about six months in an average three-bedroom flat has been wasted away in a day!
In refusing their gifts the teenagers find other strengths, and Orrec discovers that he has talent as a poet and storyteller, relating the tales his lovely mother told him before she wasted away, cursed by a crude, greedy neighbor who coveted her.