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Related to improvidence: misattributed


1. Not providing for the future; thriftless.
2. Rash; incautious.

im·prov′i·dence n.
im·prov′i·dent·ly adv.



butter-and-egg man See OAFISHNESS.

butter one’s bread on both sides To be wasteful or extravagant; also, to gain favor from two sides at once, to work both sides of the street. The two different figurative meanings of this expression, which dates from 1821, neatly express the two sides of the single literal action to which it refers, i.e., unnecessary indulgence and prudent foresight.

from hand to mouth See PRECARIOUS-NESS.

pay too dearly for one’s whistle See COST.

penny wise and pound foolish Said of a person who is prudent or thrifty in small or trivial matters but careless in large or important ones. This expression, with its obvious implications, refers to two denominations of British money, the penny and the pound.

play ducks and drakes with To waste or squander, to spend foolishly or recklessly; also to make ducks and drakes of; usually in reference to money or time.

His Majesty’s Government never intended to give over the British army to the Governors of this Kingdom to make ducks and drakes with. (Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, Dispatches, 1810)

Ducks and drakes is the name of a game or pastime which consists of skipping flat, smooth stones across the surface of water. Thus, to play ducks and drakes with one’s money is to throw it away, as if using coins instead of stones. Also, to spend one’s time playing ducks and drakes is to waste one’s time in idle pleasure. Use of the expression dates from at least 1600.

scattergood A spendthrift, squanderer, profligate; a big spender. This term is a combination of scatter ‘to throw loosely about’ and good[s] ‘valuables.’

You have heard what careless scattergoods all honest sailors are. (Richard Blackmore, Tommy Upmore, 1884)

send the helve after the hatchet To be reckless; to throw away what remains because the losses have been so great; to send good money after bad; also throw the helve after the hatchet The allusion is to the fable of the woodcutter who lost the head of his ax in a river, and then, in disgust, threw the helve, or handle, in after it. John Heywood used the phrase in a collection of proverbs published in 1546.

spare at the spigot and spill at the bung To be frugal in inconsequential matters while being wasteful in important affairs. This expression alludes to the foolishness of a person who halts the outflow of a cask at the spigot while allowing the orifice through which the cask is replenished to remain open. The saying, synonymous with the common phrase penny wise and pound foolish, is now virtually obsolete.

spend money like a drunken sailor To spend money extravagantly or foolishly, to throw money away. This self-evident expression enjoys widespread popular use.

ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.improvidence - a lack of prudence and care by someone in the management of resources
imprudence - a lack of caution in practical affairs
prodigality, profligacy, extravagance - the trait of spending extravagantly
thriftlessness, wastefulness, waste - the trait of wasting resources; "a life characterized by thriftlessness and waste"; "the wastefulness of missed opportunities"
providence - the prudence and care exercised by someone in the management of resources


[ɪmˈprɒvɪdəns] Nimprevisión f


nmangelnde Vorsorge (of für), Sorglosigkeit f (→ of in Bezug auf +acc)


[ɪmˈprɒvidns] n (frm) → imprevidenza
References in classic literature ?
Yes, you have betrayed our friendship, Makar Alexievitch, in that you have not been open with me; and, now that I see that your last coin has been spent upon dresses and bon-bons and excursions and books and visits to the theatre for me, I weep bitter tears for my unpardonable improvidence in having accepted these things without giving so much as a thought to your welfare.
The security of all would thus be subjected to the parsimony, improvidence, or inability of a part.
Here was another illustration of the childlike improvidence of this age and people.
The fact is, then, Senor Don Quixote, that though you see me seated in this chair, here in the middle of the kingdom of Aragon, and in the attire of a despised outcast duenna, I am from the Asturias of Oviedo, and of a family with which many of the best of the province are connected by blood; but my untoward fate and the improvidence of my parents, who, I know not how, were unseasonably reduced to poverty, brought me to the court of Madrid, where as a provision and to avoid greater misfortunes, my parents placed me as seamstress in the service of a lady of quality, and I would have you know that for hemming and sewing I have never been surpassed by any all my life.
I bitterly repented our improvidence in not providing ourselves, as we easily might have done, with a supply of biscuits.
But even if the rent is not mended, perhaps the worst vice betrayed is improvidence.
She kept them secret from her father, whose improvidence was the cause of much of her misery.
But that may be the result of drunkenness, improvidence, or--"
Islam has imposed restrictions on the wastage of things improvidence is prohibited must not be made beyond limitations.
This poverty is due to the low density, and, one must say, the laziness and improvidence of its population, combined with the mediocre climatic and commercial conditions.
In Vera Kreilkamp's words: "Throughout Johnston's fiction, her acknowledgement of the snobbery, injustice, and self-destructive improvidence [.
Unfortunately, this invitation proves overconfident: Moodie's glimpse of that uplifting relationship reveals a "dependant" whose liberties provoke her "mistress" (88), and the father whose improvidence has placed them in these roles leaves the scene in disillusionment.