dawdle

verb daw·dle \ ˈdȯ-dᵊl \

Definition of dawdle

dawdled; dawdling play \ˈdȯ-dliŋ, -dᵊl-iŋ\
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

dawdler

play \ˈdȯ-dlər, -dᵊl-ər\ noun

Examples of dawdle in a Sentence

  1. Hurry up! There's no time to dawdle.

  2. Come home immediately after school, and don't dawdle.

Recent Examples of dawdle from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of dawdle

origin unknown

Synonym Discussion of 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

DAWDLE Defined for English Language Learners

dawdle

verb

Definition of dawdle for English Language Learners

  • : to move or act too slowly


DAWDLE Defined for Kids

dawdle

verb daw·dle \ ˈdȯ-dᵊl \

Definition of dawdle for Students

dawdled; dawdling
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.


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