Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

footle

play
verb foo·tle \ˈfü-təl\

Definition of footle

footledfootling play \-təl-iŋ, ˈfüt-liŋ\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to talk or act foolishly

  3. 2 :  to waste time :  trifle, fool

footle noun
footler play \-təl-ər, ˈfüt-lər\ noun


Examples of footle in a sentence

  1. <spent the morning footling about while others were working>



Did You Know?

Footle may be an alteration of "footer," which an 1847 dictionary of archaic and provincial words says is a verb meaning "to idle." That word is connected with "fouter" (also spelled "foutra"), a word describing something of little value or someone worthless or bungling. But the link between "footle" and "footer" is speculative. What we can say with confidence is that "footle" is a verb of 19th century origin that-along with the adjective "footling" (as in "a footling amateur")-is still apt when discussing foolish or trifling people or things.

Origin of footle

probably alteration of footer to waste time


First Known Use: 1892

Rhymes with footle


Learn More about footle


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up footle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by propriety and good taste

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

angry oily prompt maudlin
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ