Definition of "idle" []

  • 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)
  • Unemployed or unoccupied; inactive (adjective)

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.

  • Not operating or being used (adjective)
  • (of money) not being used to earn interest or dividends (adjective)
  • Not wanting to work; lazy (adjective)
  • Frivolous or trivial (adjective)
  • Ineffective or powerless; fruitless; vain (adjective)
  • Without basis; unfounded (adjective)
  • To waste or pass (time) fruitlessly or inactively (verb)
  • To loiter or move aimlessly (verb)
  • (of a shaft, engine, etc) to turn without doing useful work (verb)
  • (of an engine) to run at low speed with the transmission disengaged (verb)
  • To cause to be inactive or unemployed (verb) (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

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."