dil·​ly·​dal·​ly ˈdi-lē-ˌda-lē How to pronounce dillydally (audio)
dillydallied; dillydallying; dillydallies

intransitive verb

: to waste time by loitering or delaying : dawdle

Examples of dillydally in a Sentence

don't dillydally on the way to the store restaurant employees who, during the slow periods, would rather be doing something instead of just dillydallying
Recent Examples on the Web There was the tapping of the top of the bat to his toes, scribbling in the dirt, adjusting his gloves and swiping his shoulder, among other displays of dillydallying. Anna Brand, CNN, 30 Mar. 2023 Bathroom breaks and other excuses for dillydallying give your heart rate a chance to return to normal. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, 22 May 2015

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dillydally.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


reduplication of dally

First Known Use

1741, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dillydally was in 1741

Dictionary Entries Near dillydally

Cite this Entry

“Dillydally.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dillydally. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


dil·​ly·​dal·​ly ˈdil-ē-ˌdal-ē How to pronounce dillydally (audio)
: to waste time : dawdle
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