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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈweɪstə/
  • Rhymes: -eɪstə(ɹ)
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English wastere, waister, wastar, wastour, equivalent to waste +‎ -er. Compare Anglo-Norman wastur, Old French gastëor.


waster (plural wasters)

  1. Someone or something that wastes; someone who squanders or spends extravagantly.
  2. (dialectal) An imperfection in the wick of a candle, causing it to waste.
  3. A destroyer.
  4. An item that is spoiled during its manufacture.
Derived terms[edit]


Etymology 2[edit]



waster (plural wasters)

  1. (obsolete, chiefly fencing) A kind of cudgel; also, a blunt-edged sword used as a foil.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 3, member 6:
      Or, as they that play at wasters exercise themselves by a few cudgels how to avoid an enemy's blows, let us arm ourselves against all such violent incursions which may invade our minds.
  2. (obsolete, Scotland) A leister; a spear for catching fish.


Old French[edit]



  1. (Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of gaster
    • circa 1170, Wace, Le Roman de Rou:
      E li Paens ont tot wasté
      And the peasants destroyed everything


This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -er. The forms that would normally end in *-sts, *-stt are modified to z, st. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.


  • English: waste