waste (v.)

c. 1200, "devastate, ravage, ruin," from Anglo-French and Old North French waster "to waste, squander, spoil, ruin" (Old French gaster; Modern French gâter), altered (by influence of Frankish *wostjan) from Latin vastare "lay waste," from vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." Related: wasted; wasting.

The Germanic word also existed in Old English as westan "to lay waste, ravage." Spanish gastar, Italian guastare also are from Germanic. Meaning "to lose strength or health; pine; weaken" is attested from c. 1300; the sense of "squander, spend or consume uselessly" is first recorded mid-14c.; meaning "to kill" is from 1964. Waste not, want not attested from 1778.

waste (n.)

c. 1200, "desolate regions," from Anglo-French and Old North French wast "waste, damage, destruction; wasteland, moor" (Old French gast), from Latin vastum, neuter of vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out."

Replaced or merged with Old English westen, woesten "a desert, wilderness," from the Latin word. Meanings "consumption, depletion," also "useless expenditure" are from c. 1300; sense of "refuse matter" is attested from c. 1400. Waste basket first recorded 1850.

waste (adj.)

c. 1300, of land, "desolate, uncultivated," from Anglo-French and Old North French waste (Old French gaste), from Latin vastus "empty, desolate," from PIE *wasto-, extended suffixed form of root *eue- "to leave, abandon, give out." From c. 1400 as "superfluous, excess;" 1670s as "unfit for use." Waste-paper attested from 1580s.

updated on May 23, 2017

Definitions of waste from WordNet
waste (v.)
spend thoughtlessly; throw away;
He wasted his inheritance on his insincere friends
Synonyms: blow / squander
waste (v.)
use inefficiently or inappropriately;
waste a joke on an unappreciative audience
waste heat
waste (v.)
get rid of;
We waste the dirty water by channeling it into the sewer
waste (v.)
run off as waste;
The water wastes back into the ocean
Synonyms: run off
waste (v.)
get rid of (someone who may be a threat) by killing;
Synonyms: neutralize / neutralise / liquidate / knock off / do in
waste (v.)
spend extravagantly;
waste not, want not
Synonyms: consume / squander / ware
waste (v.)
lose vigor, health, or flesh, as through grief;
Synonyms: pine away / languish
waste (v.)
cause to grow thin or weak;
Synonyms: emaciate / macerate
waste (v.)
cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly;
The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion
Synonyms: lay waste to / devastate / desolate / ravage / scourge
waste (v.)
become physically weaker;
Synonyms: rot
waste (n.)
any materials unused and rejected as worthless or unwanted;
much of the waste material is carried off in the sewers
they collect the waste once a week
Synonyms: waste material / waste matter / waste product
waste (n.)
useless or profitless activity; using or expending or consuming thoughtlessly or carelessly;
if the effort brings no compensating gain it is a waste
Synonyms: wastefulness / dissipation
waste (n.)
the trait of wasting resources;
a life characterized by thriftlessness and waste
Synonyms: thriftlessness / wastefulness
waste (n.)
an uninhabited wilderness that is worthless for cultivation;
the trackless wastes of the desert
Synonyms: barren / wasteland
waste (n.)
(law) reduction in the value of an estate caused by act or neglect;
Synonyms: permissive waste
waste (adj.)
located in a dismal or remote area; desolate;
waste places
Synonyms: godforsaken / wild
From, not affiliated with etymonline.