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90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dawdling
Historical Examples
  • "They're going to dinner; we oughtn't to be dawdling here," she said.

    The Reverberator Henry James
  • The six were dawdling away our time one fine Sunday in Lynhurst Park.

    Aladdin & Co. Herbert Quick
  • The plays were played very swiftly, without hesitation or dawdling over "business."

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • Either you must conquer your habit of dawdling,” he said, “or it will conquer you.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • Why should these fifty idlers spend their days dawdling about the streets?

    The Fourth Estate, vol.1 Armando Palacio Valds
  • We have been dawdling about in this wretched country long enough.

  • “I measured it this morning while you were dawdling over your breakfast,” answered Croyden.

    In Her Own Right John Reed Scott
  • There was luncheon; some dawdling and scolding about the weather.

    A Little Girl in Old San Francisco Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • They wandered on, laughing and dawdling, and yielding to the drifting whims of aimless people.

    The Glimpses of the Moon Edith Wharton
  • We have dawdled to the end of the dawdling period, and come to the active one.

British Dictionary definitions for dawdling


(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 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
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