Waste, n. [OE. waste; cf. the kindred AS. wsten, OHG. wst, wuost, G. wste. See Waste, a. & v.]
1. The act of wasting, or the state of being wasted; a squandering; needless destruction; useless consumption or expenditure; devastation; loss without equivalent gain; gradual loss or decrease, by use, wear, or decay; as, a
waste of property, time, labor, words, etc. "Waste . . . of catel and of time."
For all this waste of wealth loss of blood.Milton.
He will never . . . in the way of waste, attempt us again.Shak.
Little wastes in great establishments, constantly occurring, may defeat the energies of a mighty capital.L. Beecher.
2. That which is wasted or desolate; a devastated, uncultivated, or wild country; a deserted region; an unoccupied or unemployed space; a dreary void; a desert; a wilderness. "The wastes of Nature."
All the leafy nation sinks at last,Dryden.
And Vulcan rides in triumph o'er the waste.
The gloomy waste of waters which bears his name is his tomb and his monument.Bancroft.
3. That which is of no value; worthless remnants; refuse. Specifically: Remnants of cops, or other refuse resulting from the working of cotton, wool, hemp, and the like, used for wiping machinery, absorbing oil in the axle boxes of railway cars, etc.
(Law) Spoil, destruction, or injury, done to houses, woods, fences, lands, etc., by a tenant for life or for years, to the prejudice of the heir, or of him in reversion or remainder.
Waste is voluntary, as by pulling down buildings; or permissive, as by suffering them to fall for want of necessary repairs. Whatever does a lasting damage to the freehold is a waste.
(Mining) Old or abandoned workings, whether left as vacant space or filled with refuse.
(Phys. Geog.) Material derived by mechanical and chemical erosion from the land, carried by streams to the sea.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
Syn. -- Prodigality; diminution; loss; dissipation; destruction; devastation; havoc; desolation; ravage.
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Sun 16th December 2018