[ dawd-l ]
/ ˈdɔd l /

verb (used without object), daw·dled, daw·dling.

to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter: Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.

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

to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away): He dawdled away the whole morning.

Nearby words

  1. davys,
  2. davys, john,
  3. daw,
  4. dawah,
  5. dawbake,
  6. dawes,
  7. dawes act of 1887,
  8. dawes plan,
  9. dawes, charles gates,
  10. dawes, william

Origin of dawdle

First recorded in 1650–60; variant of daddle to toddle

1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle.

Related formsdaw·dler, noundaw·dling·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dawdling

British Dictionary definitions for dawdling


/ (ˈdɔːdəl) /


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

Word Origin for dawdle

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 dawdling



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper