- 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.
- to pass (time) in an idle or aimless manner (usually followed by away): to loiter away the afternoon in daydreaming.
Origin of loiter
SynonymsSee more synonyms for loiter on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for loiterer
He cannot afford to be a trifler or a loiterer on the way, but must push on continually.A Book for All Readers
Ainsworth Rand Spofford
The Loiterer was not sold only to the local public at Oxford.
Another way was described in the diary of a modern Oxford man in The Loiterer.
But the “loiterer” came at that moment, or rather, drove up.Children of the Soil
“They call her the Good Hope, of Dartmouth,” replied the loiterer.The Black Arrow
Robert Louis Stevenson
- (intr) to stand or act aimlessly or idly
Word Origin and History for loiterer
early 15c., "idle one's time, dawdle over work," from Middle Dutch loteren "be loose or erratic, shake, totter" like a loose tooth or a sail in a storm; in modern Dutch, leuteren "to delay, linger, loiter over one's work." Probably cognate with Old English lutian "lurk," and related to Old English loddere "beggar;" Old High German lotar "empty, vain," luzen "lurk;" German Lotterbube "vagabond, rascal," lauschen "eavesdrop;" Gothic luton "mislead;" Old English lyðre "base, bad, wicked." Related: Loitered; loitering.