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dawdle

[dawd-l]
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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.
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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.
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Origin of dawdle

First recorded in 1650–60; variant of daddle to toddle
Related formsdaw·dler, noundaw·dling·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dawdler

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I am but a dawdler, a do-nothing, the butt and laughing-stock of all brave men.

    Helmet of Navarre

    Bertha Runkle

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

    Under Handicap

    Jackson Gregory

  • And a weakling, a dawdler like himself, must reply to a hero like that!

    The Torrent

    Vicente Blasco Ibaez


British Dictionary definitions for dawdler

dawdle

verb
  1. (intr) to be slow or lag behind
  2. (when tr, often foll by away) to waste (time); trifle
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Derived Formsdawdler, noundawdlingly, adverb

Word Origin

C17: of uncertain origin
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

Word Origin and History for dawdler

dawdle

v.

1650s, perhaps a variant of daddle "to walk unsteadily." Perhaps influenced by daw, because the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until c.1775. Related: Dawdled; dawdling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper