Adjective "prodigal" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Spending money or using resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
  1. 'The film revolves around a prodigal father figure, Royal Tenenbaum, played by Gene Hackman auditioning for the Oscars.'
  2. 'Team coach Tim Murphy had no doubt that their prodigal first half wastage (they shot ten wides to Ballygunner's two) was critical in determining the outcome.'
  3. 'The Tories are non-starters as a party of government and the Lib Dems aspire to be more prodigal spendthrifts than Gordon Brown.'
  4. 'Even the sport most apt to have a prodigal star, tennis, rarely has a 19-year-old dominate in the men's game.'
  5. 'A second concern is the ‘deficit doesn't matter attitude’ being bandied about by certain prodigal U.S. politicians.'
  6. 'Above all, the Executive must curb its own prodigal spending.'
  7. 'This look says that the wearers, whatever they do or say, must be treated like prodigal children rather than responsible adults, and exempts them from all the usual pressures of conformity.'
  8. 'Go hard on those sugar farmers, or should I say, go hard on that prodigal federal government.'
  9. 'His reluctance to utter the word ‘sorry’ in this case might seem odd because Blair used to be notorious for his prodigal use of the apology.'
  10. 'As Mauss perceptively noted, the gift economy enhances the authority of the most prodigal giver, not of the most aggressive hoarder.'
Having or giving something on a lavish scale.
  1. 'A Danish composer whose catalogue contains almost 700 works, Niels Viggo Bentzon was a dynamic creative artist of prodigal talents.'
  2. 'Caesar, or Christ, that is the question: the vast, attractive, skeptical world, with its pleasures and ambitions and its prodigal promise, or the meek, majestic, and winning figure of Him of Nazareth?'
  3. 'Nature is prodigal in its approach to fertility (witness the huge number of sperm in any ejaculation), but we no longer need that prodigality.'
  4. 'Beside the little plateau a rocky basin of roughly the same shape and dimensions caught the thundering water in its downward rush, tossing it high, splashing and spraying, breezing falling flowers and mist with prodigal liberality.'


A person who spends money in a recklessly extravagant way.
  1. 'But the 21-year old heroin-addicted punk rocker from southern England wasn't the only prodigal.'
  2. 'In reckless extravagance he outdid the prodigals of all times in ingenuity… and set before his guests loaves and meats of gold, declaring that a man ought either to be frugal or be Caesar.'
  3. 'When it comes to love, God is the great prodigal - extravagant, a spendthrift, and oblivious to cost.'
  4. 'That night, having effected a cure, the alluring Eva is discovered in delecto flagrante with the young prodigal and promptly repudiated by the elders.'
  5. 'Epistle III, to Lord Bathurst, deals with the use of riches, which is understood by few, neither the avaricious nor the prodigal deriving happiness from them.'
  6. 'Slowly, as the prodigal sons returned from the West, galleries began to develop, new painters emerged, and some kind of climate was created for art.'
  7. 'I felt like the returned prodigal - wasteful, superfluous.'
  8. 'This is the perfect time for the prodigal daughter to return to her roots.'
  9. 'In Jesus' story of the prodigal, the father welcomes his boy home be redefining what it means to belong to the family.'
  10. 'In the end it proved to be, but only after the Londoners had threatened to spoil the party and upstage the return of the prodigal son.'
  11. 'The owners will declare an impasse this fall or next, then impose a salary cap and invite the prodigals to cross a picket line to join career minor leaguers in what will be a decidedly inferior confederation.'
  12. 'The prodigal returns home to marry his high school sweetheart and to mind the store, but the lure of rock and roll ultimately calls him away from responsibility.'
  13. 'And what has brought about the return of the prodigal son more than a year after he stepped out of the limelight?'
  14. 'It was billed as the return of the prodigal son, the homecoming that would put fire in the bellies of the young Borders recruits and bums on seats at Netherdale.'
  15. 'Then we went out to my local and it really was like the prodigal son had returned: applause, warmth, girls coming up to me, a guy buying me a drink.'


1. wastefully or recklessly extravagant: prodigal expenditure.

2. giving or yielding profusely; lavish (usually followed by of or with): prodigal of smiles; prodigal with money.

3. lavishly abundant; profuse: nature's prodigal resources. noun

4. a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.

More examples(as adjective)

"people can be prodigal with people."

"people can be prodigal of geniuses."

"sons can be prodigal."

"people can be prodigal."

"returnings can be prodigal."

More examples++


Late Middle English: from late Latin prodigalis, from Latin prodigus ‘lavish’.