[ doo-nuhth-ing ]
See synonyms for do-nothing on
  1. a person who chooses to do nothing; a lazy or worthless person.

  1. characterized by inability or unwillingness to initiate action, work toward a goal, assume responsibility, or the like:a do-nothing government.

Origin of do-nothing

First recorded in 1570–80

Words Nearby do-nothing Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use do-nothing in a sentence

  • Malthus was not a thoroughgoing supporter of the 'do-nothing' doctrine.

  • Perhaps he'll be buying embroidered fronts next, if he goes into that idle, do-nothing House of Commons.

    East Lynne | Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Brewery chimneys are better than a do-nothing scamp that can't earn a meal for himself or his children.

    Mr. Scarborough's Family | Anthony Trollope
  • He had been called a dawdler and a trifler and a do-nothing.

    Under Handicap | Jackson Gregory
  • The work of Anquetil was in their library; but the series of "do-nothing kings" amused them very little.

    Bouvard and Pcuchet | Gustave Flaubert