loiter

[ loi-ter ]
/ ˈlɔɪ tər /

verb (used without object)

to linger aimlessly or as if aimless in or about a place: to loiter around the bus terminal.
to move in a slow, idle manner, making purposeless stops in the course of a trip, journey, errand, etc.: to loiter on the way to work.
to waste time or dawdle over work: He loiters over his homework until one in the morning.

verb (used with object)

to pass (time) in an idle or aimless manner (usually followed by away): to loiter away the afternoon in daydreaming.

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Origin of loiter

First recorded before 1300–50; Middle English loteren, loytren, perhaps from Middle Dutch loteren “to stagger, totter”; compare Dutch leuteren “to dawdle”

synonym study for loiter

1. Loiter, dally, dawdle, idle imply moving or acting slowly, stopping for unimportant reasons, and in general wasting time. To loiter is to linger aimlessly: to loiter outside a building. To dally is to loiter indecisively or to delay as if free from care or responsibility: to dally on the way home. To dawdle is to saunter, stopping often, and taking a great deal of time, or to fritter away time working in a halfhearted way: to dawdle over a task. To idle is to move slowly and aimlessly, or to spend a great deal of time doing nothing: to idle away the hours.

OTHER WORDS FROM loiter

loi·ter·er, nounloi·ter·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for loiter

British Dictionary definitions for loiter

loiter
/ (ˈlɔɪtə) /

verb

(intr) to stand or act aimlessly or idly

Derived forms of loiter

loiterer, nounloitering, noun, adjective

Word Origin for loiter

C14: perhaps from Middle Dutch löteren to wobble: perhaps related to Old English lūtian to lurk
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