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Waisted vs. Wasted — What's the Difference?

Waisted refers to something related to the waist or its appearance, while wasted denotes something used ineffectively or expended without purpose.
Waisted vs. Wasted — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Waisted and Wasted


Key Differences

Waisted is often used in the context of fashion and body shape, referring to the area of the human body between the ribs and hips, notably when discussing clothing fit or design, such as "high-waisted" or "low-waisted" pants. Wasted, on the other hand, has several meanings, including being expended uselessly or without purpose, such as "wasted effort" or "wasted resources."
While "waisted" focuses on the physical or stylistic aspects related to the waist, "wasted" deals with loss, inefficiency, or deterioration. The context in which they are used greatly affects their meaning, reflecting either a concern with physical appearance and fashion or the misapplication and squandering of resources and health.
The two terms are homophones in many dialects of English, meaning they sound alike but have different meanings and spellings. This phonetic similarity can sometimes lead to confusion in oral communication, highlighting the importance of context for understanding.
The distinction between waisted and wasted extends into various domains, including health, fashion, and resource management. Recognizing the appropriate context for each term helps convey precise meanings and avoids misunderstandings, especially in written communication where the difference in spelling is clear.

Comparison Chart


Pertaining to the waist, especially in fashion.
Used inefficiently or under the influence of substances.


Fashion and body shape.
Resource management, health, and substance use.


Describes clothing styles or body proportions.
Describes inefficiency, physical or mental decline.


Neutral, often related to style.
Negative, implying loss or decline.


Homophone of wasted.
Homophone of waisted.

Compare with Definitions


Relating to the waist part of clothing or the body.
She prefers waisted dresses that emphasize her figure.


In a state of neglect or decay.
The garden was wasted after years of neglect.


Pertaining to the narrowing or shaping of an article of clothing at the waist.
The waisted coat offered a flattering silhouette.


Describing resources spent uselessly.
The project used a lot of materials, but it all seemed wasted.


Involving the waist in terms of fitness or health.
Waist-training corsets are used for a more waisted appearance.


Utilized without achieving any result or purpose.
Hours were wasted in unproductive meetings.


Used to describe garments designed to fit closely around the waist.
High-waisted jeans are back in style.


Physically or mentally deteriorated, often from substance abuse.
He was so wasted after the party that he couldn't stand.


Concerned with the style or appearance of the waist.
The tailor adjusted the dress for a more defined waisted look.


Expressing regret over the inefficient use of time, resources, or opportunities.
She felt her talents were wasted in her current job.


Having a waist or a part like a waist.


Not profitably used or maintained
A wasted inheritance.


Having a waist of a specified kind


Needless or superfluous
These are wasted words.


(in combination) Having some specific type of waist.


Deteriorated; ravaged
A wasted landscape.


Narrower in the middle.


Frail and enfeebled, as from prolonged illness; emaciated.


(Slang) Drunk or intoxicated.


(Archaic) Having elapsed.


Not profitably used.


Ravaged or deteriorated.


Emaciated and haggard.


(slang) Very drunk or stoned.


(medicine) Low weight-for-height (for a person).


Simple past tense and past participle of waste


Serving no useful purpose; having no excuse for being;
Otiose lines in a play
Advice is wasted words


Not used to good advantage;
Squandered money cannot be replaced
A wasted effort


(of an organ or body part) diminished in size or strength as a result of disease or injury or lack of use;
Partial paralysis resulted in an atrophied left arm


Very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold;
Emaciated bony hands
A nightmare population of gaunt men and skeletal boys
Eyes were haggard and cavernous
Small pinched faces
Kept life in his wasted frame only by grim concentration


Made uninhabitable;
Upon this blasted heath
A wasted landscape

Common Curiosities

How can I remember the difference between waisted and wasted?

Remember, waisted relates to the waist (and style), while wasted indicates something is used ineffectively or is in decline.

Can a garment be both waisted and wasted?

Conceptually, yes. A garment can be waisted in design but wasted if it's no longer used or appreciated.

What does wasted mean?

Wasted can mean utilized without effective result, in a state of physical or mental decline, or under the influence of substances.

Is it common to confuse waisted and wasted?

In writing, less so, due to the different spellings. However, they are homophones and can be confused in speech.

What does waisted mean?

Waisted relates to the waist, especially in the context of clothing or body shape, focusing on style or appearance.

Are waisted and wasted interchangeable?

No, they have distinct meanings and contexts, with waisted relating to fashion and wasted to inefficiency or decline.

Can wasted be used in a positive context?

Rarely, as it typically conveys negativity, such as loss or decline. However, context can sometimes give it a more neutral or humorous tone.

Does waisted have any meanings outside of fashion?

Primarily, it refers to something related to the waist, especially in terms of style or appearance, and is not widely used outside of these contexts.

Why is understanding the difference between waisted and wasted important?

It ensures clear communication, especially in writing, where the context and correct spelling are crucial for conveying the intended meaning.

What is a common mistake people make with waisted and wasted?

Confusing the two in speech due to their similar pronunciation, or misusing them in writing by selecting the incorrect spelling for the context.

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