[ 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

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

How to use dawdle in a sentence

  • But he knows that he is just a dawdler compared to Chomsky, the great big mindbender.

  • He had been called a dawdler and a trifler and a do-nothing.

    Under Handicap | Jackson Gregory
  • The pinch of necessity had come at last: the world no longer offered him the life of an elegant dawdler.

    Washington Irving | Henry W. Boynton
  • Indeed, I was a confirmed dawdler almost before I was able to think or act for myself.

    Parkhurst Boys | Talbot Baines Reed
  • And a weakling, a dawdler like himself, must reply to a hero like that!

    The Torrent | Vicente Blasco Ibaez
  • You were never meant to become a cynical dawdler in a country house.

    The Doctor's Wife | M. E. Braddon

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