Definition of "idle" [i•dle]

  • Not employed or busy: idle carpenters. See Synonyms at inactive. (adjective)
  • Avoiding work or employment; lazy: shiftless, idle youth. See Synonyms at lazy. (adjective)
  • Not in use or operation: idle hands. (adjective)
  • Lacking substance, value, or basis. See Synonyms at baseless, vain. (adjective)
  • To pass time without working or while avoiding work. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "idle" in a sentence
  • "He is free to believe in his own beliefs which, according to Tusar, do not include the Vedic myths or what he calls the idle intellectual approximations of the Avatar."
  • "The marquis privately reproved his daughters, for what he termed the idle fancies of a weak mind; and desired them no more to disturb the peace of the castle with the subject of their late fears."
  • "His wife often admonished him of the danger of tampering with the deadly vice of intemperance; but he only laughed at what he termed her idle fears."