I. adjective Etymology: Latin prodigus, from prodigere to drive away, squander, from pro-, prod- forth + agere to drive — more at pro-, agent Date: 15th century 1. characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure ; lavish <
a prodigal feast
prodigal outlays for her clothes
2. recklessly spendthrift <
the prodigal prince
3. yielding abundantly ; luxuriant — often used with of <
nature has been so prodigal of her bounty — H. T. Buckle
Synonyms: see profuseprodigality nounprodigally adverb II. noun Date: 1561 1. one who spends or gives lavishly and foolishly 2. one who has returned after an absence

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


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  • Prodigal — may refer to *a spendthrift, or person who spends money recklessly and wastefully * The Prodigal , a 1955 epic biblical film * The Prodigal , a Season 1 episode of the TV show Angel * Prodigal , a Season 2 episode of the TV show Smallville *… …   Wikipedia

  • Prodigal — Prod i*gal, a. [L. prodigus, from prodigere to drive forth, to squander away; pro forward, forth + agere to drive; cf. F. prodigue. See {Agent}. ] Given to extravagant expenditure; expending money or other things without necessity; recklessly or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prodigal — ► ADJECTIVE 1) wastefully extravagant. 2) lavish. ► NOUN 1) a prodigal person. 2) (also prodigal son) a person who leaves home to lead a prodigal life but returns repentant. [ORIGIN: with allusion to the parable in the Gospel of Luke, chapter… …   English terms dictionary

  • prodigal — [adj1] wasteful dissipated, excessive, extravagant, immoderate, improvident, intemperate, lavish, profligate, reckless, spendthrift, squandering, wanton; concepts 401,560 Ant. careful, thrifty prodigal [adj2] luxurious, profuse abundant,… …   New thesaurus

  • prodigal — [präd′i gəl] adj. [MFr < L prodigus, prodigal < prodigere, to drive forth or away, waste < pro , forth + agere, to drive: see PRO 2 & ACT1] 1. exceedingly or recklessly wasteful 2. extremely generous; lavish [prodigal with one s praise] …   English World dictionary

  • prodigal# — prodigal adj *profuse, lavish, exuberant, luxuriant, lush Analogous words: extravagant, exorbitant, immoderate, *excessive: abundant, *plentiful, plenteous, ample, copious: *supererogatory, uncalled for, gratuitous Antonyms: parsimonious: frugal… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Prodigal — Prod i*gal, n. One who expends money extravagantly, viciously, or without necessity; one that is profuse or lavish in any expenditure; a waster; a spendthrift. Noble prodigals of life. Trench. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prodigal — I adjective careless, dissipated, dissipative, excessive, extravagant, heedless, immoderate, improvident, imprudent, intemperate, lavish, liberal, profligate, reckless, spendthrift, squandering, thriftless, unbridled, uncurbed, uneconomical,… …   Law dictionary

  • prodigal — mid 15c., back formation from prodigiality (mid 14c.), from O.Fr. prodigalite (13c.), from L.L. prodigalitatem (nom. prodigalitas) wastefulness, from L. prodigus wasteful, from prodigere drive away, waste, from pro forth (see PRO (Cf. pro )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • prodigal — I UK [ˈprɒdɪɡ(ə)l] / US [ˈprɑdɪɡ(ə)l] adjective formal wasting a lot of money or supplies Derived word: prodigality UK [ˌprɒdɪˈɡælətɪ] / US [ˌprɑdɪˈɡælətɪ] noun uncountable II = prodigal son prodigal UK [ˈprɒdɪɡ(ə)l] / US [ˈprɑdɪɡ(ə)l] or… …   English dictionary

  • prodigal — [[t]prɒ̱dɪg(ə)l[/t]] prodigals 1) ADJ: usu ADJ n You can describe someone as a prodigal son or daughter if they leave their family or friends, often after a period of behaving badly, and then return at a later time as a better person. [LITERARY] …   English dictionary

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