adjective, i·dler, i·dlest.
verb (used without object), i·dled, i·dling.
verb (used with object), i·dled, i·dling.
Origin of idle
Synonyms for idle
Antonyms for idle
Related Words for idleunproductive, useless, empty, rambling, hollow, abortive, bootless, frivolous, fruitless, futile, groundless, insignificant, irrelevant, nugatory, otiose, pointless, superficial, trivial, unavailing, unnecessary
Examples from the Web for idle
Contemporary Examples of idle
And in the summer, when the lift is idle, it feeds juice into the local community.Solar Powered Ski Lift
The Daily Beast
November 24, 2014
Any upcoming release of a new Apple product guarantees a deafening cacophony of idle speculation from tech sites.Amateur Stuntmen, the iPhone 6, and More Viral Videos
August 30, 2014
The idle rich had driven down from Biarritz with their uniformed chauffeurs.Is This Hemingway’s Pamplona or a Lot of Bull?
July 13, 2014
Sviatohirsk is an idle forest resort, usually popular with families and the elderly.Ukraine Families Flee Into the Forest to Escape Brutal Fighting in Sloviansk
June 10, 2014
This was not idle speculation; Bowe Bergdahl was believed to be held by the militants of the Haqqani Network.Bergdahl’s Dad: Drone Killed Captor’s Kid
June 6, 2014
Historical Examples of idle
I confess, Eudora, it pained me to see you listen to his idle flattery.
Aspasia will tell you I have been a beautiful but idle dreamer all my life.
We are not now about to give him any idle panegyric on the occasion.
Did you bring your work, girls, or is it to be a case of idle hands?Grace Harlowe's Return to Overton Campus
Jessie Graham Flower
He had seen much of her during the week, and he knew she had not been idle.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
Word Origin for idle
Old English idel "empty, void; vain; worthless, useless; not employed," common West Germanic (cf. Old Saxon idal, Old Frisian idel "empty, worthless," Old Dutch idil, Old High German ital, German eitel "vain, useless, mere, pure"), of unknown origin. Idle threats preserves original sense; meaning "lazy" is c.1300.
late 15c., "make vain or worthless," from idle (adj.). Meaning "spend or waste (time)" is from 1650s. Meaning "cause to be idle" is from 1789. Sense of "running slowly and steadily without transmitting power" (as a motor) first recorded 1916. Related: Idled; idling.