If waste is useless, then to waste is to fritter away. Don't waste time putting your waste paper in the waste basket, just chuck it in the recycling bin.

As a noun, waste, meaning “desolate regions” stems from the Old English westen, meaning “a desert, wilderness.” Later, it came to imply a “useless activity,” and even later than that, “refuse matter,” or “trash.” As a verb, waste “devastate, ruin,” comes from the Latin vastare, “to lay waste.” It later adopted the sense of “spend or consume uselessly.” It can also mean “to kill.” The poet E. E. Cummings said, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

Definitions of waste
  1. verb
    use inefficiently or inappropriately
    waste heat”
    waste a joke on an unappreciative audience”
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    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  2. verb
    spend thoughtlessly; throw away
    “He wasted his inheritance on his insincere friends”
    synonyms: blow, squander
    spend lavishly or wastefully on
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    conserve, economise, economize, husband
    use cautiously and frugally
    spend (significant amounts of money)
    type of:
    expend, use
    use up or consume fully
  3. verb
    spend extravagantly
    waste not, want not”
    synonyms: consume, squander, ware
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    dissipate, fool, fool away, fritter, fritter away, frivol away, shoot
    spend frivolously and unwisely
    luxuriate, wanton
    become extravagant; indulge (oneself) luxuriously
    lavish, shower
    expend profusely; also used with abstract nouns
    spend at a high rate
    fling, splurge
    indulge oneself
    type of:
    drop, expend, spend
    pay out
  4. noun
    the trait of wasting resources
    synonyms: thriftlessness, wastefulness
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    type of:
    improvidence, shortsightedness
    a lack of prudence and care by someone in the management of resources
  5. noun
    any materials unused and rejected as worthless or unwanted
    “they collect the waste once a week”
    “much of the waste material is carried off in the sewers”
    synonyms: waste material, waste matter, waste product
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    dross, impurity
    worthless or dangerous material that should be removed
    exhaust, exhaust fumes, fumes
    gases ejected from an engine as waste products
    body waste, excrement, excreta, excretion, excretory product
    waste matter (as urine or sweat but especially feces) discharged from the body
    crud, filth, skank
    any substance considered disgustingly foul or unpleasant
    sewage, sewerage
    waste matter carried away in sewers or drains
    effluent, sewer water, wastewater
    water mixed with waste matter
    food waste, garbage, refuse, scraps
    food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)
    waste matter that contaminates the water or air or soil
    garbage, refuse, rubbish, scrap, trash
    worthless material that is to be disposed of
    (usually plural) waste water from a kitchen or bathroom or chamber pot that has to be emptied by hand
    toxic industrial waste, toxic waste
    poisonous waste materials; can cause injury (especially by chemical means)
    DDT, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane
    an insecticide that is also toxic to animals and humans; banned in the United States since 1972
    CFC, chlorofluorocarbon
    a fluorocarbon with chlorine; formerly used as a refrigerant and as a propellant in aerosol cans
    a compound in which the hydrogen atoms of a hydrocarbon have been replaced by bromine and other halogen atoms; very stable; used in fire extinguishers although it is thought to release bromine that depletes the ozone layer
    nitrogen oxide
    any of several oxides of nitrogen formed by the action of nitric acid on oxidizable materials; present in car exhausts
    BM, dejection, faecal matter, faeces, fecal matter, feces, ordure, stool
    solid excretory product evacuated from the bowels
    excreta (especially of insects)
    cylindrical mass of earth voided by a burrowing earthworm or lugworm
    human waste
    the body wastes of human beings
    urine, water
    liquid excretory product
    barf, puke, vomit, vomitus
    the matter ejected in vomiting
    scrap metal
    discarded metal suitable for reprocessing
    debris, detritus, dust, junk, rubble
    the remains of something that has been destroyed or broken up
    rubbish carelessly dropped or left about (especially in public places)
    the excrement of sea birds or bats; used as fertilizer
    sulfur dioxide, sulphur dioxide
    a colorless toxic gas (SO2) that occurs in the gases from volcanoes; used in many manufacturing processes and present in industrial emissions; causes acid rain
    type of:
    material, stuff
    the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object
  6. noun
    useless or profitless activity; using or expending or consuming thoughtlessly or carelessly
    “if the effort brings no compensating gain it is a waste
    synonyms: dissipation, wastefulness
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    work of little or no value done merely to look busy
    waste of effort, waste of energy
    a useless effort
    waste of material
    a useless consumption of material
    waste of money
    money spent for inadequate return
    waste of time
    the devotion of time to a useless activity
    extravagance, high life, highlife, lavishness, prodigality
    excessive spending
    spending resources lavishly and wastefully
    prodigious squandering (usually by a government)
    type of:
    any specific behavior
  7. noun
    (law) reduction in the value of an estate caused by act or neglect
    synonyms: permissive waste
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    type of:
    act, deed, human action, human activity
    something that people do or cause to happen
  8. verb
    get rid of
    “We waste the dirty water by channeling it into the sewer”
  9. verb
    run off as waste
    “The water wastes back into the ocean”
    synonyms: run off
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    type of:
    course, feed, flow, run
    move along, of liquids
  10. verb
    lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief
    synonyms: languish, pine away
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    type of:
    become weaker
  11. verb
    become physically weaker
    “Political prisoners are wasting away in many prisons all over the world”
    synonyms: rot
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    gangrene, mortify, necrose, sphacelate
    undergo necrosis
    type of:
    degenerate, deteriorate, devolve, drop
    grow worse
  12. verb
    cause to grow thin or weak
    synonyms: emaciate, macerate
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    type of:
    debilitate, drain, enfeeble
    make weak
  13. verb
    cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    synonyms: desolate, devastate, lay waste to, ravage, scourge
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    reduce to ruins
    type of:
    destroy, ruin
    destroy completely; damage irreparably
  14. verb
    get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing
    synonyms: do in, knock off, liquidate, neutralise, neutralize
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    type of:
    cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly
  15. noun
    an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation
    “the trackless wastes of the desert”
    synonyms: barren, wasteland
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    heath, heathland
    a tract of level wasteland; uncultivated land with sandy soil and scrubby vegetation
    type of:
    wild, wilderness
    a wild and uninhabited area left in its natural condition
  16. adjective
    located in a dismal or remote area; desolate
    waste places”
    synonyms: godforsaken, wild
    unfavorable to life or growth
Word Family

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