Share this entry
wastrel Line breaks: wast¦rel
Pronunciation: /ˈweɪstr(ə)l/

Definition of wastrel in English:


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.

Definition of wastrel in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words