Use the adjective prodigal to describe someone who spends too much money, or something very wasteful. Your prodigal spending on fancy coffee drinks might leave you with no money to buy lunch.

Prodigal usually applies to the spending of money. In the Bible, the Prodigal Son leaves home and wastes all his money. The noun forms of the word, meaning "a wasteful person" or "one who returns home after a period of bad behavior," relate to this biblical story. You can also use prodigal to describe something that is very abundant or generous, such as prodigal praise. Prodigal comes from the Latin word prodigere, "to drive away or waste."

Definitions of prodigal
  1. adjective
    recklessly wasteful
    prodigal in their expenditures”
    synonyms: extravagant, profligate, spendthrift
    tending to squander and waste
  2. adjective
    giving or having in a lavish, abundant, or bountiful way
  3. noun
    a recklessly extravagant person
    synonyms: profligate, squanderer
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    scattergood, spend-all, spender, spendthrift
    someone who spends money prodigally
    waster, wastrel
    someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently
    big spender, high roller
    one who spends lavishly and ostentatiously on entertainment
    type of:
    a person who uses goods or services
  4. noun
    someone who returns after a long absence characterized by reckless behavior
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    type of:
    one that is absent or not in residence
Word Family

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