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

Definition of dillydally

intransitive verb

: to waste time by loitering or delaying : dawdle

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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 Bathroom breaks and other excuses for dillydallying give your heart rate a chance to return to normal. Elizabeth Narins, Cosmopolitan, 22 May 2015

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

First Known Use of dillydally

1741, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dillydally

reduplication of dally

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Time Traveler for dillydally

Time Traveler

The first known use of dillydally was in 1741

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Cite this Entry

“Dillydally.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dillydally. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dillydally



English Language Learners Definition of dillydally

informal : to move or act too slowly : to waste time


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

Kids Definition of dillydally

: to waste time : dawdle Don't dillydally in your work.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dillydally


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