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

Definition of lollygag

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

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Did You Know?

You certainly didn't want to be known as a lollygagger at the beginning of the 20th century. Back then, lollygag was slang for "fooling around" (sexually, that is). That sense of lollygag was in use as long ago as 1868, and it probably originated as an alteration of the older (and more dawdlingly innocent) lallygag. Nowadays, lollygag doesn't usually carry such naughty connotations, 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!

First Known Use of lollygag

1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lollygag

origin unknown

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The first known use of lollygag was in 1862

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Cite this Entry

“Lollygag.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of lollygag

US, informal : to spend time doing things that are not useful or serious : to fool around and waste time

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