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[dawd-l] /ˈdɔd l/
verb (used without object), dawdled, dawdling.
to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter:
Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
verb (used with object), dawdled, dawdling.
to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away):
He dawdled away the whole morning.
Origin of dawdle
First recorded in 1650-60; variant of daddle to toddle
Related forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dawdled
Historical Examples
  • In all that did not directly concern her he had dawdled, and Dorothy knew and resented it.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • For all that, he dawdled not a moment longer than he could help.

    Follow My leader Talbot Baines Reed
  • But of all my infant duties the one I dawdled over most was going to sleep.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • It was late in the afternoon before Patty dawdled downstairs.

    Patty's Success

    Carolyn Wells
  • We have dawdled to the end of the dawdling period, and come to the active one.

  • He dawdled two precious weeks away at Tours; then he went to Loches, and dawdled there.

    Joan of Arc Laura E. Richards
  • I exclaimed, as he dawdled up to me at the hot and dusty station.

  • Some dawdled, window shopped, or strolled along for the air.

    Combat Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Time is too precious to be dawdled away then, and a man lives every minute of it.

  • Had we dawdled less we might have gone much earlier from Charing Cross.

    The Happy Golfer Henry Leach
British Dictionary definitions for dawdled


(intransitive) to be slow or lag behind
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
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Word Origin and History for dawdled



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
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