—v.t. 1. to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander: to waste money; to waste words. 2. to fail or neglect to use: to waste an opportunity. 3. to destroy or consume gradually; wear away: The waves waste the rock of the shore. 4. to wear down or reduce in bodily substance, health, or strength; emaciate; enfeeble: to be wasted by disease or hunger. 5. to destroy, devastate, or ruin: a country wasted by a long and futile war. 6. Slang.to kill or murder.
—v.i. 1. to be consumed, spent, or employed uselessly or without giving full value or being fully utilized or appreciated.
2. to become gradually consumed, used up, or worn away: A candle wastes in burning. 3. to become physically worn; lose flesh or strength; become emaciated or enfeebled.
4. to diminish gradually; dwindle, as wealth, power, etc.: The might of England is wasting. 5. to pass gradually, as time.
—n. 1. useless consumption or expenditure; use without adequate return; an act or instance of wasting: The project was a waste of material, money, time, and energy. 2. neglect, instead of use: waste of opportunity. 3. gradual destruction, impairment, or decay: the waste and repair of bodily tissue. 4. devastation or ruin, as from war or fire.
5. a region or place devastated or ruined: The forest fire left a blackened waste. 6. anything unused, unproductive, or not properly utilized.
7. an uncultivated tract of land.
8. a wild region or tract of land; desolate country, desert, or the like.
9. an empty, desolate, or dreary tract or extent: a waste of snow. 10. anything left over or superfluous, as excess material or by-products, not of use for the work in hand: a fortune made in salvaging factory wastes. 11. remnants, as from the working of cotton, used for wiping machinery, absorbing oil, etc.
12. Phys. Geog.material derived by mechanical and chemical disintegration of rock, as the detritus transported by streams, rivers, etc.
13. garbage; refuse.
15. go to waste, to fail to be used or consumed; be wasted: She hates to see good food go to waste. 16. lay waste, to devastate; destroy; ruin: Forest fires lay waste thousands of acres yearly.
—adj. 1. not used or in use: waste energy; waste talents. 2. (of land, regions, etc.) wild, desolate, barren, or uninhabited; desert.
3. (of regions, towns, etc.) in a state of desolation and ruin, as from devastation or decay.
4. left over or superfluous: to utilize waste products of manufacture. 5. having served or fulfilled a purpose; no longer of use.
6. rejected as useless or worthless; refuse: to salvage waste products. 7. Physiol.pertaining to material unused by or unusable to the organism.
8. designed or used to receive, hold, or carry away excess, superfluous, used, or useless material (often in combination): a waste pipe; waste container. 9. Obs.excessive; needless.