Definition of wastrel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈweɪstr(ə)l/


1 literary A wasteful or good-for-nothing person: I have no intention of seeing my dues gambled away by your wastrel of a son
More example sentences
  • This is a horribly patronising movie that makes Dublin in 1967 look like a theme-park of amiable drunken wastrels and boozy squawking women in headscarves and ankle socks.
  • In those dark days fathers surfaced in politics either as incipient child-abusers, or alimony-evading wastrels.
  • These children, they said, were destined to become wastrels, neurotic misfits or criminals.
2 archaic A waif; a neglected child.


Late 16th century (denoting a strip of waste land): from the verb waste + -rel.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wast¦rel

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