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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does prodigal mean? 

  The noun PRODIGAL has 1 sense:

1. a recklessly extravagant consumer

  Familiarity information: PRODIGAL used as a noun is very rare.

PRODIGAL (adjective)
  The adjective PRODIGAL has 3 senses:

1. very generous
2. recklessly wasteful
3. marked by rash extravagance

  Familiarity information: PRODIGAL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1prodigal [BACK TO TOP]


A recklessly extravagant consumer

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people


prodigal; squanderer; profligate

Hypernyms ("prodigal" is a kind of...):

consumer (a person who uses goods or services)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "prodigal"):

scattergood; spend-all; spender; spendthrift (someone who spends money prodigally)

waster; wastrel (someone who dissipates resources self-indulgently)

PRODIGAL (adjective)

Sense 1prodigal [BACK TO TOP]


Very generous


unstinting; unstinted; unsparing; too-generous; prodigal; overgenerous; munificent; lavish

Context examples:

distributed gifts with a lavish hand / the critics were lavish in their praise / a munificent gift / his father gave him a half-dollar and his mother a quarter and he thought them munificent / prodigal praise / unsparing generosity / his unstinted devotion / called for unstinting aid to Britain


generous (willing to give and share unstintingly)

Sense 2prodigal [BACK TO TOP]


Recklessly wasteful


profligate; spendthrift; extravagant; prodigal

Context example:

prodigal in their expenditures


wasteful (tending to squander and waste)

Sense 3prodigal [BACK TO TOP]


Marked by rash extravagance

Context example:

led a prodigal life


improvident (not provident; not providing for the future)

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 PRODIGAL: related words searches 

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