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[lohf] /loʊf/
verb (used without object)
to idle away time:
He figured the mall was as good a place as any for loafing.
to lounge or saunter lazily and idly:
We loafed for hours along the water's edge.
verb (used with object)
to pass idly (usually followed by away):
to loaf one's life away.
Origin of loaf2
1825-35, Americanism; back formation from loafer
Related forms
unloafing, adjective
2. loll, idle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for loafed
Historical Examples
  • That done, they went down to the creek bank, and loafed in the rays of the afternoon sun.

  • I had loafed around the lanes, and had made friends with the idle and the dissolute.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • Silent, they loafed on the edge of the wharf, swinging their legs above the water.

    Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
  • Most of us pretended to look for them and loafed about the neighbouring slums.

    A Tramp's Notebook Morley Roberts
  • Never before had Time so loafed and enjoyed himself in some nonsense by the wayside.

    The Cassowary Stanley Waterloo
  • They loafed about the only hotel and saloon, but were always on the alert.

    Thirty Years on the Frontier Robert McReynolds
  • A copper-coloured native, in shorts and a wide grass hat, loafed over to us.

    The Sea and the Jungle H. M. Tomlinson
  • Instead of this he loafed about, sulky and angry with society.

  • Orion loafed into the lamplight by the steps before Queenie got into action.

    Sheila of Big Wreck Cove James A. Cooper
  • I loafed and paltered until the want of a dinner drove me into honesty.

    In the Year of Jubilee George Gissing
British Dictionary definitions for loafed


noun (pl) loaves (ləʊvz)
a shaped mass of baked bread
any shaped or moulded mass of food, such as cooked meat
(slang) the head; sense: use your loaf!
Word Origin
Old English hlāf; related to Old High German hleib bread, Old Norse hleifr, Latin libum cake


(intransitive) to loiter or lounge around in an idle way
(transitive) foll by away. to spend (time) idly: he loafed away his life
Word Origin
C19: perhaps back formation from loafer
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 loafed



late 13c., from Old English hlaf "portion of bread baked in a mass of definite form," from Proto-Germanic *khlaibuz (cf. Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs "bread, loaf"), of uncertain origin, perhaps connected to Old English hlifian "to raise higher, tower," on the notion of the bread rising as it bakes, but it is unclear whether "loaf" or "bread" is the original sense. Finnish leipä, Old Church Slavonic chlebu, Lithuanian klepas probably are Germanic loan words. Meaning "chopped meat shaped like a bread loaf" is attested from 1787.


1835, American English, back-formation from loafer (1830), which often is regarded as a variant of land loper (1795), a partial loan-translation of German Landläufer "vagabond," from Land "land" + Läufer "runner," from laufen "to run" (see leap). But OED finds this connection "not very probable." Related: Loafed; loafing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with loafed
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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