loiter

play
verb loi·ter \ˈlȯi-tər\

Definition of loiter

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to delay an activity with idle stops and pauses :  dawdle asked him not to loiter on the way home

  3. 2a :  to remain in an area for no obvious reason teenagers loitering in the parking lotb :  to lag behind a crowd of people, who loitered to hear the bloodcurdling threats the prisoner shouted — Willa Cather

loiter

noun

loiterer

play \ˈlȯi-tər-ər\ noun

Examples of loiter in a sentence

  1. Loitering is prohibited outside the theaters.

  2. don't loiter in this neighborhood after dark

Origin and Etymology of loiter

Middle English


First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of loiter

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off of something (such as a beginning or departure). we cannot delay any longer procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy. procrastinates about making decisions lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others. lagging behind in technology loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time. loitered at several store windows children dawdling on their way home from school dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary. stop dallying and get to work

LOITER Defined for English Language Learners

loiter

play
verb loi·ter \ˈlȯi-tər\

Definition of loiter for English Language Learners

  • : to remain in an area when you do not have a particular reason to be there


LOITER Defined for Kids

loiter

play
verb loi·ter \ˈlȯi-tər\

Definition of loiter for Students

loitered

;

loitering

  1. 1 :  to hang around somewhere for no good reason Loitering outside the store is prohibited.

  2. 2 :  to dawdle on the way to somewhere Don't loiter on your way home.

loiterer

noun

Law Dictionary

loiter

play
intransitive verb loi·ter \ˈlȯi-tər\

Legal Definition of loiter

  1. :  to remain in or hang around an area for no obvious purpose; specifically :  to linger for the purpose of committing a crime a statute forbidding any person from loitering on school grounds



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ