- to linger aimlessly or as if aimless in or about a place: to loiter around the bus terminal.
- to move in a slow, idle manner, making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand, etc.: to loiter on the way to work.
- to waste time or dawdle over work: He loiters over his homework until one in the morning.
- to pass (time) in an idle or aimless manner (usually followed by away): to loiter away the afternoon in daydreaming.
Origin of loiter
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for loitered
He loitered about in adjacent doorways, quite like a hired fellow.Ruggles of Red Gap
Harry Leon Wilson
Dim ghosts of men and women, most of them, who loitered at this hour in these streets.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
Scarcely had they loitered through her lips, ere she was lost in slumber.Masterpieces of Mystery
He loitered and whistled and hummed while the clerk phoned to the station.Mixed Faces
I came here partly by accident, and have loitered from choice.Sir Jasper Carew
Charles James Lever
- (intr) to stand or act aimlessly or idly
Word Origin and History for loitered
early 15c., "idle one's time, dawdle over work," from Middle Dutch loteren "be loose or erratic, shake, totter" like a loose tooth or a sail in a storm; in modern Dutch, leuteren "to delay, linger, loiter over one's work." Probably cognate with Old English lutian "lurk," and related to Old English loddere "beggar;" Old High German lotar "empty, vain," luzen "lurk;" German Lotterbube "vagabond, rascal," lauschen "eavesdrop;" Gothic luton "mislead;" Old English lyðre "base, bad, wicked." Related: Loitered; loitering.