ˈī-dᵊl-ər How to pronounce idler (audio)
plural idlers
: one who spends time idly : an idle, inactive, or lazy person
The idlers in O'Toole's and in the candy store would crowd outside, leaving their beers and chocolate malteds behind.Stephen King
There he assumed the role of society playboy, swell dancer, ready wit and all-around idler, all the while continuing a nearly secret life as a dedicated painter.Frank Getlein
"He has never done anything—he is a selfish idler."Henry James
For this was the regime that was supposed to turn idlers, spongers, beggars and assorted ne'er-do-wells into industrious responsible members of society.Simon Schama
: idler pulley
This new design eliminates idlers and all the maintenance issues associated with the traditional conveyor design.Biomass Magazine
: idler wheel
Some manufacturers use larger drive wheels with smaller idlers that are free to turn on their own axes.Harry H. Poole

Examples of idler in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Their name exudes the essence of an idler and slacker, but women’s loafers themselves are quite the opposite. Gaby Keiderling, Harper's BAZAAR, 19 Jan. 2023 This represents the loss of an idea of what the capital should represent, the removal of a place that was an idler’s haven. Anandi Mishra, The Atlantic, 30 July 2022 If the flaneur is an active idler, the badaud is a stationary, passive one, ready to stare open-mouthed at any phenomenon that offers novelty or puzzlement. Julian Barnes, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2022 That these dialogues are a joint project of the WEF and the entitled idler next in line to the British throne is another reminder that democracy is no part of the Davos game. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 29 Oct. 2020

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

Word History

First Known Use

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of idler was in 1534

Dictionary Entries Near idler

Cite this Entry

“Idler.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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