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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[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 loafing
Historical Examples
  • He watched her, loafing lordly; very handsome and dear he looked in his beautiful evening clothes.

    V. V.'s Eyes Henry Sydnor Harrison
  • He was loafing about there at night waiting for Maud, and quite ignorant of her death.

    The Opal Serpent Fergus Hume
  • Girls, I must get out and do something—this loafing is getting on my nerves.

  • At this moment most of the brown fellows were loafing in the trench.

  • He asked why the Nequasset was loafing there in the seaway without steering headway on her!

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • There must have been over a thousand loafing about the street all night.

    Side Show Studies Francis Metcalfe
  • In the first place, let loafing of every kind, and not merely the loafing of the casual pauper, be made a misdemeanour.

    The Vagrancy Problem. William Harbutt Dawson
  • He don't like him loafing around here: he sent him home last Sunday.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Gamekeeping is an occupation peculiarly favourable to loafing if a man is inclined that way.

    The Gamekeeper at Home Richard Jefferies
  • Damascus is more inclined to loafing or to dancing than to reading.

British Dictionary definitions for loafing


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 loafing



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 loafing
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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