footle

play
verb foo·tle \ˈfü-təl\

Definition of footle

footled

;

footling

play \ˈfü-təl-iŋ, ˈfüt-liŋ\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to talk or act foolishly

  3. 2 :  to waste time :  trifle, fool

footle

noun

footler

play \ˈfü-təl-ər, ˈfüt-lər\ noun

footle was our Word of the Day on 08/02/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of footle in a sentence

  1. spent the morning footling about while others were working

Did You Know?

Footle may be an alteration of "footer," which an 1847 dictionary of archaic and provincial words says is a verb meaning "to idle." That word is connected with "fouter" (also spelled "foutra"), a word describing something of little value or someone worthless or bungling. But the link between "footle" and "footer" is speculative. What we can say with confidence is that "footle" is a verb of 19th century origin that-along with the adjective "footling" (as in "a footling amateur")-is still apt when discussing foolish or trifling people or things.

Origin and Etymology of footle

probably alteration of footer to waste time


First Known Use: 1891



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WORD OF THE DAY

a brief usually trivial fact

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