• WordNet 3.6
    • adj prodigal recklessly wasteful "prodigal in their expenditures"
    • n prodigal a recklessly extravagant consumer
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Disappointed, Hungry Prodigal Tending Swine The Disappointed, Hungry Prodigal Tending Swine
The Returning Prodigal The Returning Prodigal
The Prodigal's Tent The Prodigal's Tent

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • a Prodigal Given to extravagant expenditure; expending money or other things without necessity; recklessly or viciously profuse; lavish; wasteful; not frugal or economical; as, a prodigal man; the prodigal son; prodigal giving; prodigal expenses. "In fighting fields [patriots] were prodigal of blood."
    • n Prodigal 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."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • prodigal Given to extravagant expenditure; expending money or other property without necessity; profuse; lavish; wasteful: said of persons: as, a prodigal man; the prodigal son.
    • prodigal Profuse; lavish; wasteful: said of things: as, a prodigal expenditure of money.
    • prodigal Very liberal; lavishly bountiful: as, nature is prodigal of her gifts.
    • prodigal Proud. Synonyms Lavish, Profuse, etc. See extravagant.
    • n prodigal One who expends money extravagantly or without necessity; one who is profuse or lavish; a waster; a spendthrift. With the definite article, the prodigal, the term, taken from the ordinary chapter-heading, is used to designate the younger son in Christ's parable, Luke xv. 11-32.
    • n prodigal In civil law. a person of full age for whom, by judicial authority, a curator is appointed, by reason of his inability to attend to his obligations and estate.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Prodigal prod′i-gal spending without necessity: wasteful: lavish: profuse
    • n Prodigal one who throws away without necessity: a waster: a spendthrift
    • ***


  • Vance Havner
    “If they had a social gospel in the days of the prodigal son, somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home.”
  • John Ciardi
    John Ciardi
    “Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.”
  • Hannah More
    “Love never reasons, but profusely gives; it gives like a thoughtless prodigal its all, and then trembles least it has done to little.”
  • Ben Johnson
    “The covetous man never has money. The prodigal will have none shortly.”
  • Mary Elizabeth Hewitt
    Mary Elizabeth Hewitt
    “A sumptuous dwelling the rich man hath. And dainty is his repast; but remember that luxury's prodigal hand keeps the furnace of toil in blast.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.”


Prodigal son - A prodigal son is a young man who wastes a lot on money on a lavish lifestyle. If the prodigal son returns, they return to a better way of living.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. prodigus, from prodigere, to drive forth, to squander away; pro, forward, forth + agere, to drive; cf. F. prodigue,. See Agent.


In literature:

There was waste, and the most prodigal waste, on every hand.
"A Dutch Boy Fifty Years After" by Edward Bok
Take, for example, debauchery, idleness, prodigality.
"Essays on Political Economy" by Frederic Bastiat
Like the good parent he is, he does not wait for the prodigal's return.
"The Grey Cloak" by Harold MacGrath
Oh, I trust thou wilt bring this poor prodigal to himself, and turn his steps towards his Father's house.
"The Power of Faith" by Isabella Graham
The prodigal son in the parable of Jesus lived his earlier years without an appreciation either of his powers or possibilities.
"The Ascent of the Soul" by Amory H. Bradford
"Sermons Preached at Brighton" by Frederick W. Robertson
The Prodigal Son may be taken as a type of the first, the Elder Brother of the second.
"The Greatest Thing In the World and Other Addresses" by Henry Drummond
He will do for a prodigal, so we will have him cooked for Elsie's supper.
"Miss Dexie" by Stanford Eveleth
I preached last Sabbath, or rather, tried to, from the parable of the Prodigal Son.
"“Swingin Round the Cirkle.”" by Petroleum V. Nasby
To illustrate: Suppose we are asked to teach a lesson on the Prodigal Son.
"Principles of Teaching" by Adam S. Bennion

In poetry:

This, the Earth, which was the Lord's,
Prodigal of rose and vine,
I will desolate with swords
Till it own that it is mine.
"The Rhyme Of The Beast" by Thomas William Hodgson Crosland
Afflictions, though they seem severe;
In mercy oft are sent;
They stopped the prodigal's career,
And forced him to repent.
"The Prodigal Son" by John Newton
With Thine Image stamped of old,
Find Thy coin more choice than gold;
Known to Thee by name, recall
To Thee Thy home-sick prodigal.
"The Offering Of The New Law, The One Oblation Once Offered" by Christina Georgina Rossetti
"This is a mad blade," the butchers then said;
Saies the sheriff, "He is some prodigal,
That some land has sold for silver and gold,
And now he doth mean to spend all.
"Robin Hood And The Butcher" by Andrew Lang
Behind her stormy sunrise shone,
Her shadow fell vast and long,
And her mighty Adm'ral, English Smith,
Heads a prodigous throng
Of as mighty men, from Raleigh down,
As ever arose in song.
"The Lee Memorial Ode" by James Barron Hope
I whisper'd the prodigal, wanton and wild,
-- How changed from the heart that you had when a child,
So teachable, noble, and modest, and mild!--
Though Sin had undone him, Thank God that I won him, By looking at Home!
"Home" by Martin Farquhar Tupper

In news:

TJC Theatre presents " Prodigal ".
Thoughts on the parable of the prodigal son.
When I preach on the parable of the prodigal son, I always get stuck on the elder brother.
Prodigal Sons is a documentary about a sibling rivalry that persists through some unusual identity changes.
Prodigal son Mike Nesmith the best of the Monkees concert.
TODAY'S PHOTO: The prodigal bag returns.
New York City's Prodigal Son Returns.
Classical Music's Prodigal Son: Sanford Sylvan Returns to New York.
Prodigal Dad in hot water.
Carol Barnier understands because she was that prodigal .
She'll share her story with us and equip you with a better understanding of how to talk with the prodigals in your own world.
Don't miss her heartfelt advice on Engaging Today's Prodigal (Moody, ISBN# 978-0-8024-0557-9).
Why Haiti's prodigal son, Michel Martelly, may be its savior.
Prodigal Sons Directed by Kimberly Reed First Run Features Opens February 26, Cinema Village.
Power-pop's prodigal songs return, and struggle somewhat with both the power and the pop.

In science:

Loredo, T.J.: The return of the prodigal: Bayesian inference For astrophysics.
Bayesian astrostatistics: a backward look to the future