lol·​ly·​gag ˈlä-lē-ˌgag How to pronounce lollygag (audio)
variants or less commonly lallygag
lollygagged also lallygagged; lollygagging also lallygagging; lollygags also lallygags

intransitive verb

: to fool around and waste time : dawdle
Stop lollygagging and get to work.
We were slow because the girl was lollygagging, the photographer was photographing, and I was on crutches.James Robison
The first author he'd chosen was lollygagging on his manuscript, so it was my chance.Neal Pollack
… rally the team of lallygagging lawmakers …The Hightower Lowdown

Did you know?

Since the 19th century, lollygag (sometimes also spelled lallygag) has been used as a slang word to describe acts of wasting time as well as displays of affection. Nowadays, lollygag doesn't usually refer to flirting or cuddling, but back in 1946, one Navy captain considered lollygagging enough of a problem to issue this stern warning: "Lovemaking and lollygagging are hereby strictly forbidden.... The holding of hands, osculation and constant embracing of WAVES [Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service], corpsmen or civilians and sailors or any combination of male and female personnel is a violation of naval discipline...."

Examples of lollygag in a Sentence

He was kicked off the team for lollygagging during practice. Stop lollygagging around and get to work!
Recent Examples on the Web For perspective, the Tesla S Plaid, the current poster child for electric vehicle acceleration, lollygags its way to 60 in 1.98 seconds, according to Motor Trend magazine tests. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, 21 Mar. 2023

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

Word History


origin unknown

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lollygag was in 1862


Dictionary Entries Near lollygag

Cite this Entry

“Lollygag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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