dawdle

verb
daw·​dle | \ ˈdȯ-dᵊl How to pronounce dawdle (audio) \
dawdled; dawdling\ ˈdȯ-​dliŋ How to pronounce dawdle (audio) , -​dᵊl-​iŋ \

Definition of dawdle

intransitive verb

1 : to spend time idly dawdled about in the vestibule …— Jane Austen
2 : to move lackadaisically "I don't want you dawdling while you making deliveries for Mrs. Ford."— Connie Porter

transitive verb

: to spend fruitlessly or lackadaisically dawdled the day away

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Other Words from dawdle

dawdler \ ˈdȯ-​dlər How to pronounce dawdle (audio) , -​dᵊl-​ər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for dawdle

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off of something (such 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

Examples of dawdle in a Sentence

Hurry up! There's no time to dawdle. Come home immediately after school, and don't dawdle.
Recent Examples on the Web Pick a base and branch out or mix and match, but don’t dawdle. David Swanson, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 Aquarium -- if Dallas City Hall doesn’t dawdle in its decision-making. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 4 June 2021 Pick a base and branch out or mix and match, but don’t dawdle. David Swanson, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2021 Don't dawdle, especially if your travel dates and destination are set. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, 22 Apr. 2021 Don’t dawdle too much, though, because these two orbs won’t have a conjunction this great again until 2080. Nicole Clausing, Sunset Magazine, 20 Dec. 2020 Zeta may dawdle in the western Caribbean for another day or so, trapped between two strong high pressure systems to the east and west. NBC News, 25 Oct. 2020 Congress, for example, dawdled for seven months because of an acrimonious fight over funding for Zika in 2016. Nicholas Florko, STAT, 2 Mar. 2020 If the last launch was any indication, it's bound to be gone in no time, so don't dawdle. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, 15 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dawdle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dawdle

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dawdle

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for dawdle

Time Traveler

The first known use of dawdle was circa 1656

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Statistics for dawdle

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dawdle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dawdle. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dawdle

dawdle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dawdle

: to move or act too slowly

dawdle

verb
daw·​dle | \ ˈdȯ-dᵊl How to pronounce dawdle (audio) \
dawdled; dawdling

Kids Definition of dawdle

1 : to spend time wastefully : dally He couldn't afford to dawdle. He was way behind the others …— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : to move slowly and without purpose Don't dawdle in the hall.

More from Merriam-Webster on dawdle

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dawdle

Nglish: Translation of dawdle for Spanish Speakers

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