[ dawd-l ]
See synonyms for: dawdledawdleddawdlesdawdling on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object),daw·dled, daw·dling.
  1. to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter: Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!

  2. to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.

verb (used with object),daw·dled, daw·dling.
  1. 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”

synonym study For dawdle

1, 2. See loiter.

Other words for dawdle

Other words from dawdle

  • dawdler, noun
  • daw·dling·ly, adverb

Words Nearby dawdle

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dawdle in a sentence

  • Why should they not dawdle at their labor sitting upon the fence in endless colloquy while the harvest rots upon the stalk?

  • After a big fit of work, I can dawdle against any one; then I get another fit of work—it's like appetite.

  • You've no idea how beastly it is to dawdle about in a crowd of people, and then at the end go back to another term of school.

    Sinister Street, vol. 1 | Compton Mackenzie
  • Tell your mother, and that poor dawdle there, your sister, that they 'd be thankful they'd have followed my advice.

    Roland Cashel | Charles James Lever
  • They watched him as he passed up the pathway, with a stride and a swing so different from his ordinary listless dawdle.

    Colonial Born | G. Firth Scott

British Dictionary definitions for dawdle


/ (ˈdɔːdəl) /

  1. (intr) to be slow or lag behind

  2. (when tr, often foll by away) to waste (time); trifle

Origin of dawdle

C17: of uncertain origin

Derived forms of dawdle

  • dawdler, noun
  • dawdlingly, adverb

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