idler

noun
\ ˈīd-lər, ˈī-dᵊl-ər How to pronounce idler (audio) \
plural idlers

Definition of idler

1 : 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
2a : idler pulley This new design eliminates idlers and all the maintenance issues associated with the traditional conveyor design.Biomass Magazine
b : idler wheel Some manufacturers use larger drive wheels with smaller idlers that are free to turn on their own axes.— Harry H. Poole

First Known Use of idler

1534, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about idler

Time Traveler for idler

Time Traveler

The first known use of idler was in 1534

See more words from the same year

Statistics for idler

Cite this Entry

“Idler.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idler. Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for idler

idler

noun
How to pronounce idler (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of idler

somewhat old-fashioned : someone who is lazy or does not work

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on idler

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for idler

Spanish Central: Translation of idler

Nglish: Translation of idler for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of idler for Arabic Speakers

Comments on idler

What made you want to look up idler? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!