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-)) + agere "to drive" (see ACT (Cf. act)). First reference is to prodigial son, from Vulgate L. filius prodigus (Luke xv:11-32).

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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 — 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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