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See more synonyms for loafer on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who loafs; lazy person; idler.
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Origin of loafer

1820–30, Americanism; perhaps short for *landloafer vagabond; compare German (obsolete) Landläufer, Dutch landloper; see landloper
Related formsloaf·er·ish, adjective


  1. a brand name for a moccasinlike slip-on shoe.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for loafer

waster, wanderer, malingerer, slouch, lazybones, good-for-nothing, wastrel, idler, deadbeat, do-nothing, slacker, sluggard, shirker, beachcomber, lounger, goof-off, sponger

Examples from the Web for loafer

Historical Examples of loafer

  • A good worker like him, not a loafer or a drunkard, he could have understood in that case.


    Emile Zola

  • Only one man may be scouted by any one, and that is the loafer.

  • And, as for their calling you a loafer—well, that's your own fault, too.

    The Rise of Roscoe Paine

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • The loafer came in with a grin of good-nature on his perspiring and dirty face.

  • What did she think he was—a fool, a loafer, a uniformed nonentity?

British Dictionary definitions for loafer


  1. a person who avoids work; idler
  2. a moccasin-like shoe for casual wear
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Word Origin for loafer

C19: perhaps from German Landläufer vagabond
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 loafer


"idler, person who loafs," 1830, of uncertain origin (see loaf (v.)). As a type of shoe, 1937. Related: Loafers.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper