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
Examples from the Web for idly
Contemporary Examples of idly
After idly admiring the work for almost a week, Iolas gained the courage to enter his very first gallery.Alexander Iolas: The Secret King of Surrealism
March 7, 2014
The street vendor, an older man in a baseball hat, sits by idly as tourists flood past the table.Banksy’s Biggest Trick Yet: Selling His Art on the Street for $60
October 14, 2013
He dropped out of school in the ninth grade and has been idly sitting on good intentions about getting a GED ever since.Homicide Spike Terrorizes Philly
January 29, 2012
Historical Examples of idly
Then the Athenians showed that their threats had not been idly uttered.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
Some say, idly, that religion is losing her hold in these strenuous days.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
Once, when she was gone, Martin idly hunted out the Song of Solomon.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Idly he watched "Tantibba's" figure till it disappeared in the distance.Hetty's Strange History
Why not live nobly and idly in the most beautiful of cities, under the most beautiful of skies?The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
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.