The adjective prodigal means someone who spends a lot of money carelessly without thinking about what will happen when they have nothing left. It also means a son or a daughter who leaves their family or friends, often after a period of behaving badly, and then returns at a later time as a better person.

 Synonyms are wasteful, spendthrift, squandering, or wanton.

The word origins from Middle French (mid-15th century) prodigal and directly from Late Latin prodigalis, and Latin prodigus meaning “wasteful”, from prodigere meaning “drive away, waste”. It comes from pro meaning “forth” plus agere meaning “to set in motion, drive, to do, perform”.

Your prodigal spending on fancy clothes might leave you with no money.

The father attempted to write a letter to his prodigal daughter.

The prodigal son returns! The family celebrated.