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PRODIGAL, civil law, persons. Prodigals were persons who, though of full age, were incapable of managing their affairs, and of the obligations which attended them, in consequence of their bad conduct, and for whom a curator was therefore appointed.
     2. In Pennsylvania, by act of assembly, an habitual drunkard is deprived of the management of his affairs, when he wastes his property, and his estate is placed in the bands of a committee.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ackerley's protagonist reserved most of the details of his human sexuality but gave away those of his dog-love so prodigally that he nearly incriminated himself.
The sales particulars make a good read: 'He had undutifully and disobediently demeaned himself to his father and extravagantly, prodigally and profusely spend and wasted much of his estate.' Eventually, however, he managed to hang on to a best bit, his 1688 marriage settlement including the mansion house, orchard, gardens, buildings, barns, stables, outhouse and dove house.'
Waters' cuisine is open to the charge of elitism, for one of its most prodigally used ingredients is time, and we are told that none of us has much of that any more and that time is money.
My thesis is that the world needs us instead to waste our time royally in worship and, consequently, to be Church, a people different from the world and thereby prodigally offering the gifts of the extravagant splendor of God.
But Sparta, prodigally, has given us not one but two English adjectives, and a noun besides: `spartan', of course, `laconic', and, less obviously, `helot'.
Wordsworth's sonnet typically begins with an apparent plenitude (conveyed, just as in his sonnet on Westminster Bridge, through negation)--"While not a leaf seems faded; while the fields,/with ripening harvest prodigally fair"--and then reveals that this fullness in fact covers up for death: "this nipping air, / Sent from some distant clime where Winter wields / His icy scimitar, a foretaste yields / Of bitter change." Like many of his other sonnets, this poem enacts, on one level, the discovery of a revelatory quality in loss itself.
That's quite a waste, given a cast that is the most significant of the many resources prodigally lavished by Manhattan Theater Club on this long, labored and hollow comedy.
JOHN SINGER SARGENT: THE SENSUALIST by Trevor Fairbrother (Yale University Press, $39.95) The prodigally gifted painter, who never declared his sexuality but who is thought to have had at least one same-sex love, is celebrated for his tactile appreciation for all things beautiful--in other words, his gay sensibility (December)
"Fundamentalism is prodigally dissipating the Christian culture accretion of centuries, a serious sin," cried Harold Ockenga, a decade ago.
Now he stood face to face with Greder herself: the tyrant of Khoren Four, she who was spending so prodigally on entertainments for the curia.
Now, with Soviet ballet no longer even Soviet, the Kirov has proved eager to acquire the repertory of their prodigally gifted son.
In the meantime, Sofia and Esteban are erotically and prodigally attracted to him as an alternative "father" and as a foreign source of their own self-realization.