verb loi·ter \ˈli-tər\

: to remain in an area when you do not have a particular reason to be there

Full Definition of LOITER

intransitive verb
:  to delay an activity with idle stops and pauses :  dawdle
a :  to remain in an area for no obvious reason
b :  to lag behind
loiter noun
loi·ter·er \-tər-ər\ noun

Examples of LOITER

  1. Loitering is prohibited outside the theaters.
  2. <don't loiter in this neighborhood after dark>

Origin of LOITER

Middle English
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of LOITER

delay, retard, slow, slacken, detain mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival <bad weather delayed our arrival>. retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping <language barriers retarded their progress>. slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention <medication slowed the patient's heart rate>, slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort <on hot days runners slacken their pace>. detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time <unexpected business had detained her>.

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off (as a beginning or departure) <we cannot delay any longer>. procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy <procrastinates about making decisions>. lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others <lagging behind in technology>. loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time <loitered at several store windows> <children dawdling on their way home from school>. dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary <stop dallying and get to work>.

Rhymes with LOITER

LOITERER Defined for Kids


verb loi·ter \ˈli-tər\

Definition of LOITER for Kids

:  to hang around somewhere for no good reason <Loitering outside the store is prohibited.>
:  to dawdle on the way to somewhere <Don't loiter on your way home.>
loi·ter·er noun


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