Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

dawdle

[dawd-l] /ˈdɔd l/
verb (used without object), dawdled, dawdling.
1.
to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter:
Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
2.
to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
verb (used with object), dawdled, dawdling.
3.
to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away):
He dawdled away the whole morning.
Origin of dawdle
1650-1660
First recorded in 1650-60; variant of daddle to toddle
Related forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
Synonyms
1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dawdle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They go from the school-room to the rum saloons, and dawdle away the rest of the day.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • And they did not dawdle; the poor old woman was packed in, in the time one takes to sneeze.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • We did not dawdle over his affairs, nor did we shrink from any work to which he challenged us.

    Anabasis Xenophon
  • Easy for sleepers to dawdle with words and say carelessly life is this, life is that.

    Erik Dorn

    Ben Hecht
  • If we succeeded in getting what we had come after there would be plenty of time to dawdle.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
  • Johnnie Green got to thinking so intently about the matter that he began to dawdle.

  • There was method in the way in which Laurence had sought to dawdle away the morning.

    The Sign of the Spider Bertram Mitford
  • Geddie went into his office and sat down to dawdle over his report.

  • You all know when you learn with a will, and when you dawdle.

British Dictionary definitions for dawdle

dawdle

/ˈdɔːdəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to be slow or lag behind
2.
when tr, often foll by away. to waste (time); trifle
Derived Forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dawdle
v.

1650s, perhaps a variant of daddle "to walk unsteadily." Perhaps influenced by daw, because the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until c.1775. Related: Dawdled; dawdling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dawdle

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dawdle

11
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dawdle