From Middle French prodigal, from Late Latin prōdigālis (“wasteful”), from Latin prōdigus (“wasteful, lavish, prodigal”), from prōdigō (“to consume, squander, drive forth”), from prōd- [from prō (“before, forward”)] + agō (“to drive”). Also see prodigy.
- Wastefully extravagant.
- He found himself guilty of prodigal spending during the holidays.
- The prodigal son spent his share of his inheritance until he was destitute.
- 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XXIII, in Francesca Carrara. […], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, […], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 257:
- The prodigal heir can only waste his own substance, and the punishment falls, as it should, upon himself; but the prince has an awful responsibility,—the welfare of others is required at his hands;...
- (often followed by of or with) Yielding profusely, lavish.
- She was a merry person, glad and prodigal of smiles.
- How can he be so prodigal with money on such a tight budget?
- 1974, James Herriot, Vet in Harness, page 201:
- Granville poised himself over a vast sirloin, stropped his knife briskly, then began to hack away ruthlessly. He was a prodigal server and piled about two pounds of meat on my plate, then he started on the Yorkshire puddings.
- Profuse, lavishly abundant.
- (by allusion to the New Testament story commonly called "The Parable of the Prodigal Son", Luke 15:11–32) Behaving as a prodigal son:
- Having (selfishly) abandoned a person, group, or ideal.
- Returning or having returned, especially repentantly, after such an abandonment.
- 2012 August 12, Paul Owen, “London 2012 Olympics: day 10”, in The Guardian:
- Simon Hart of the Daily Telegraph has tweeted that the prodigal triple-jumper has come home, in preparation for tomorrow's qualification round.
- See also Thesaurus:prodigal
prodigal (plural prodigals)
- See also Thesaurus:spendthrift