Definition of extravagance in US English:



  • 1Lack of restraint in spending money or use of resources.

    ‘his reckless extravagance with other people's money’
    • ‘‘The problems of formalism, bureaucracy, dishonesty, extravagance and waste are relatively severe,’ he told the legislature session.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘During his lifetime, Fitzgerald's reputation for extravagance and dissipation affected assessments of his writings.’
    • ‘It is not just a case of eliminating extravagance and waste, we have got to manage the budget and be even more efficient.’
    • ‘And extravagance and waste prevailing on campus has seldom, if at all, been addressed as a pressing issue.’
    • ‘The big unknown for hotels and restaurants that had factored corporate extravagance into their plans is how much spending will be reined in.’
    • ‘Peter Stringer has occasionally been charged with a lack of extravagance behind the scrum, but his antennae are never down.’
    • ‘He is, to this day, associated with extravagance and regal lavishness.’
    • ‘Even so, it has left me with a sense of unease about waste, especially in this industry where extravagance is so normal.’
    • ‘Yesterday the Environment Agency advised against extravagance with ‘a precious resource’ but stressed there was no serious cause for concern.’
    • ‘While always treating James with deference, Cecil urged him to curtail his extravagance and also to restrain his partiality for Scots advisers and companions.’
    • ‘This is the harvest one reaps when one sows in extravagance and dissipation.’
    • ‘People surround their houses with frilly plants and especially with lawns - an astonishingly costly national extravagance.’
    • ‘I think extravagance is wasted on ourselves and should always be directed at other people.’
    • ‘It was a classic left-wing promise, because we have seen more extravagance and more waste under this Government than I have ever seen in my lifetime.’
    • ‘But the appearance of financial cronyism, allied to the vexed issue of government extravagance on failing computer systems, does not sit well with the chancellor's austere image.’
    • ‘We are going to end the culture of extravagance and waste, because New Zealanders have had enough.’
    • ‘The probe found vast waste, extravagance, and hoarding.’
    • ‘Impulsiveness, impatience, senseless rebellion, and extravagance are the traits that so often undermine their work and dreams.’
    • ‘For all its richness and extravagance, the hospital hotel lacked warmth.’
    profligacy, lack of thrift, unthriftiness, thriftlessness, improvidence, wastefulness, waste, overspending, prodigality, squandering, lavishness
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    1. 1.1 A thing on which too much money has been spent or which has used up too many resources.
      ‘salmon trout is an unnecessary extravagance’
      • ‘I'm lucky to have friends who have wonderful extravagances, so it's possible on a fine summer's day to be taken on a splendid motor launch to lunch at Beaulieu on the river.’
      • ‘Until the very end he was famous for extravagances and spent millions on yachts, helicopters, planes and homes around the world, including an $11m apartment in New York whose furnishings are the source of his current tax problems.’
      • ‘But given the abject poverty Miller grew up in, it's hard to fault him for his extravagances.’
      • ‘She redeemed her extravagances by their consequences.’
      • ‘The schools barely have enough money for a fully equipped football team, and they certainly have no money for extravagances like bus yards.’
      • ‘Lottery money has to be sought, not for luxuries or extravagances, but to maintain parks and public areas.’
      • ‘Mainly, these are harmless extravagances if the bank balance can cope.’
      • ‘People are traveling less, not spending money on extravagances and looking to be with their family all helps to support our business model.’
      • ‘Often, this extra spending is on luxuries and wasteful extravagances - small things that add up to thousands in the long run.’
      • ‘Maybe that's why when we reach a certain age, we're supposed to confine such extravagances to birthdays, weddings and Christmas.’
      • ‘His extravagances are the horses they keep on a couple of acres in Surrey.’
      • ‘The times of such architectural extravagances as turrets are passing.’
      • ‘Smith refers to one of hedonistic King George's most legendary extravagances.’
      • ‘When you feel that everyone at the office has noticed your miserly and cheap behavior, start to make them feel guilty about their own extravagances.’
      • ‘One of the many extravagances of the Constitution was to convert a large number of workers such as university lecturers, scientific researchers and other technical officers into civil servants.’
      • ‘Before I get lots of nasty letters about expat extravagances, I tell you now Bulgarians would embrace many of these business enterprises.’
      • ‘We should mind little things - little courtesies in life, little matters of personal appearance, little extravagances, little minutes of wasted time, little details in our work.’
      • ‘For some, it could have been an impossible dream gathering dust in the corner of their minds, remembered fondly as one of the extravagances of childhood.’
      • ‘The glamour, the hype, the fame, the extravagances, and, above all, the money - all of these combine to create a world many young boys wish to inhabit.’
      • ‘The extravagances of his palaces have also been given an airing.’
      luxury, indulgence, self-indulgence, comfort, treat, extra, non-essential, frill, refinement
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    2. 1.2 Excessive elaborateness of style, speech, or action.
      ‘the extravagance of the decor’
      • ‘They seem to be giant physical manifestations of a kind of extravagance, or excessiveness, a breaking out of boundaries, form, and structure.’
      • ‘Curtis sits in the director's chair for the first time and seems willing to commit to film his whole romantic scrapbook with sporting extravagance.’
      • ‘Godwin and Mill both wrote with Burkean extravagance about Hastings's disastrous effect on English national character.’
      • ‘When you shear it of all its pomp and extravagance, when you whittle it down to the very basics of musical comedy plotting, Half a Sixpence should work like a lucky charm.’
      • ‘Easter (in March or April) is the most important religious holiday and is highly revered by the Russian Orthodox Church with elaborate rituals and extravagance.’
      • ‘The same could be said of my bedroom, which lacks the extravagance I would expect at these prices.’
      • ‘But to get back to the question of a gay sensibility: cliche has us believe that amongst its ingredients are flamboyance, showiness, excess and extravagance.’
      • ‘They range from lovely, understated elegance and simplicity to wild extravagance.’
      • ‘The degree of excess and extravagance seemed over the top in even the most subdued tiki bar.’
      • ‘The lack of eastern extravagance promises good things.’
      • ‘I got bored with extravagance, the time wasting and delaying, the speeches that were so horrendously long… it was enough to make any real person want to sleep for an eternity.’
      • ‘They rely upon a language of ‘verbal extravagance and outrageousness’.’
      ornateness, elaborateness, decoration, embellishment, adornment, ornamentation, showiness
      excessiveness, exaggeration, exaggeratedness, unreservedness, outrageousness, immoderation
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Mid 17th century: from French, from medieval Latin extravagant- ‘diverging greatly’, from the verb extravagari (see extravagant).