- to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter: Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
- to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dawdling
The man who has a habit of dawdling or listlessness will show it in everything he does.How to Succeed
Orison Swett Marden
The six were dawdling away our time one fine Sunday in Lynhurst Park.Aladdin & Co.
They had been dawdling over the dishes, and their eyes had frequently met.Sister Carrie
Either you must conquer your habit of dawdling,” he said, “or it will conquer you.
How soon I again fell a victim to dawdling the sequel will show.
- (intr) to be slow or lag behind
- (when tr, often foll by away) to waste (time); trifle
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
Word Origin and History for dawdling
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