There are 2 main definitions of fritter in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

fritter1

Syllabification: frit·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈfridər
 
/

verb

[with object]
1 (fritter something away) Waste time, money, or energy on trifling matters: I wish we hadn’t frittered the money away so easily
More example sentences
  • The worry is that ministers will give the money to councils and it will be frittered away on councillors' pet projects.
  • Three shabbily dressed and under - nourished children lived in a Hampshire house of astonishing squalor as their parents frittered their money away on drink, a court heard.
  • Taxpayers should make sure that their money isn't frittered away on projects designed to pay back political supporters.
Synonyms
overspend, spend like water, be prodigal with, run through, get through
informal blow, splurge, pour/throw down the drain
1.1 [no object] Dwindle; diminish: the day fritters
2 archaic Divide (something) into small pieces: they become frittered into minute tatters

Origin

early 18th century: based on obsolete fitter 'break into fragments, shred'; perhaps related to German Fetzen 'rag, scrap'.

More
  • fry from (Middle English):

    The word meaning ‘to cook in hot fat or oil’ comes from the Latin verb frigere, which meant both ‘to roast’ and ‘fry’. Fry as a term for ‘young fish’ is a quite different word, which comes from Old Norse. If you move from a bad situation to one that is worse you have moved out of the frying pan into the fire, an expression used by the scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More in the mid 16th century. Fritters (Late Middle English) are fried food and get their name from Late Latin frictura ‘a frying’. To fritter time or money (early 18th century) is a different word. It is based on an old verb fitter meaning ‘to break into fragments, shred’, and may be related to German Fetzen ‘rag, scrap’.

Derivatives

fritterer

1
noun
Example sentences
  • It is to be a waster of time, a fritterer of opportunities, and so on.
  • If the fritterer is a mother, she gets another check too.
  • But the worst fritterers are those wasting over £500 each on takeaways every year in unnecessary eating haste and waste.

Definition of fritter in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

There are 2 main definitions of fritter in English:

Share this entry

Share this page

fritter2

Syllabification: frit·ter
Pronunciation: /ˈfridər
 
/

noun

A piece of fruit, vegetable, or meat that is coated in batter and deep-fried.
Example sentences
  • A light batter containing whisked egg whites is used to encase the prepared fruit, and the fritters are coated with caramel and sprinkled with sesame seeds after cooking.
  • And instead of the food she loves she'll be served with spam fritters, suet pudding and stewed prunes.
  • The tiny purple berries are used to make sparkling jams and the blossoms are deep-fried into fritters.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French friture, based on Latin frigere (see fry1). Compare with frittata.

More
  • fry from (Middle English):

    The word meaning ‘to cook in hot fat or oil’ comes from the Latin verb frigere, which meant both ‘to roast’ and ‘fry’. Fry as a term for ‘young fish’ is a quite different word, which comes from Old Norse. If you move from a bad situation to one that is worse you have moved out of the frying pan into the fire, an expression used by the scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More in the mid 16th century. Fritters (Late Middle English) are fried food and get their name from Late Latin frictura ‘a frying’. To fritter time or money (early 18th century) is a different word. It is based on an old verb fitter meaning ‘to break into fragments, shred’, and may be related to German Fetzen ‘rag, scrap’.

Definition of fritter in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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