Entry no. 1682834496


adjective: idle
comparative adjective: idler
superlative adjective: idlest

  1. (of a person) avoiding work; lazy.
    • (of a person) not working; unemployed.
    • (especially of a machine or factory) not active or in use.
    • (of time) characterized by inaction or absence of significant activity.
    • (of money) held in cash or in accounts paying no interest.
  2. without purpose or effect; pointless.
    • (especially of a threat or boast) without foundation.

verb: idle
3rd person present: idles
past tense: idled
past participle: idled
gerund or present participle: idling

  1. spend time doing nothing.
    • move aimlessly or lazily.
    • North American
      take out of use or employment.
  2. (of an engine) run slowly while disconnected from a load or out of gear.
    • cause (an engine) to idle.


Old English īdel ‘empty, useless’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijdel ‘vain, frivolous, useless’ and German eitel ‘bare, worthless’.