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Fritter away

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  • One definition of the verb fritter is to squander little by little. This is the sense used in the phrasal verb fritter away and its derivatives. To fritter something away—usually money, time, or another resource—is to waste it piece by piece.

    Frit sometimes appears in place of fritterFrit is a recognized word, but it is a relatively obscure term having to do with glass and enamels and traditionally has nothing to do with squandering. While we might consider frit a variant of fritterfritter away is still the standard form of the phrasal adjective and is more common in edited writing.

    Examples

    Fritter away

    I needed to fritter away taxpayers’ money, so I popped out of the office and ordered a takeaway flat white at Knobbo. [Southland Times]

    The parties have frittered away months of collaborative brainstorming opportunities by fighting each other over the $14.3 trillion national debt. [Washington Post]

    Porter is a straight-As student who fritters away his talents writing papers for lazy or stupid classmates … [The Arts Desk]

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    Frit away

    How Lubbockites might frit away sultry summer hours on downtown business streets made as comfortably cooling as an evening Gulf breeze was suggested. [Lubbock Avalanche-Journal]

    President Obama has fritted away more than a year, first by trusting his wanted charisma to make Iran relinquish its drive for nuclear weapons. [posted on Politico]

    Frit

    The west façade features Low-E glass with a frit pattern to reduce heat gain. [R&D Magazine]

    Even the glazing behind the columns falls into three varying stages of transparency; clear, semi-fritted and obscured. [Building.co.uk]

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