Definition of boondoggle in English:


Syllabification: boon·dog·gle
Pronunciation: /ˈbo͞onˌdägəl, -ˌdôgəl
North American informal


  • 1Work or activity that is wasteful or pointless but gives the appearance of having value: writing off the cold fusion phenomenon as a boondoggle best buried in literature
    More example sentences
    • The program is incorrigible; once a boondoggle, always a boondoggle.
    • This has been a boondoggle and a PR sham that pays utilities to build more dirty plants while claiming to be coming clean.
    • But in the view of serious energy policy experts, the project bears all the hallmarks of a boondoggle.
  • 1.1A public project of questionable merit that typically involves political patronage and graft: they each drew $600,000 in the final months of the great boondoggle
    More example sentences
    • They are not crazy, these public boondoggle people.
    • Their experts and bureaucrats would supposedly do a more professional job of confiscating our money and throwing it down the rat holes of political boondoggles.
    • Yet all this saving, much of which goes into government bonds for boondoggle construction projects with a negative net return, is killing their economy.


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  • Waste money or time on unnecessary or questionable projects.
    More example sentences
    • If people were actually aware of how they're being boondoggled, we might get somewhere.
    • Now hopelessly swamped in scandal and corruption, high taxes, firearms boondoggle, sponsorship scandal, etc, they are again using bribery as their last resort.
    • His official budget even featured a photo of a wind-powered ice sled - an example of the alleged boondoggles he said he would no longer tolerate.


1930s: of unknown origin.

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Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little