Synonyms & Antonyms of dally

1 to engage in activity for amusement
  • he spent his college years dallying, seemingly determined to acquire as little knowledge as possible

Synonyms for dally

Words Related to dally

Near Antonyms for dally

3 to show a sexual attraction for someone just for fun
  • she spent the summer dallying with a guy renting the neighboring beach house

Synonyms for dally

Words Related to dally

4 to spend time doing nothing
  • I kept dallying at my desk until I couldn't put off doing my work any longer

Synonyms for dally

Words Related to dally

Phrases Synonymous with dally

Near Antonyms for dally

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Frequently Asked Questions About dally

How is the word dally different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of dally are dawdle, delay, lag, loiter, and procrastinate. While all these words mean "to move or act slowly so as to fall behind," dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary.

stop dallying and get to work

When would delay be a good substitute for dally?

While in some cases nearly identical to dally, delay usually implies a putting off of something (such as a beginning or departure).

we cannot delay any longer

Where would lag be a reasonable alternative to dally?

Although the words lag and dally have much in common, lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others.

lagging behind in technology

How do loiter and dawdle relate to one another, in the sense of dally?

Both 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

When can procrastinate be used instead of dally?

While the synonyms procrastinate and dally are close in meaning, procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy.

procrastinates about making decisions

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Time Traveler for dally

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The first known use of dally was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Dally.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dally

Nglish: Translation of dally for Spanish Speakers


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