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idle

i·dle

idle

 
pronunciation:
aI dl
parts of speech:
adjective, intransitive verb, transitive verb
features:
Homophone Note, Word Explorer
part of speech: adjective
inflections: idler, idlest
definition 1: not active or in use; not working or scheduled to work; unemployed; unoccupied.
The now idle factory had once employed over five hundred workers.Her husband's been idle since the factory closed down.
synonyms:
dormant, inactive, jobless, unemployed, unoccupied, unused
antonyms:
busy, employed, engaged, working
similar words:
lazy, quiescent, sleepy, vacant
definition 2: tending to avoid work; lazy; slothful.
That idle brother of yours should get out and find himself a job.
synonyms:
indolent, lazy, otiose, slothful
antonyms:
active, industrious
similar words:
inert, shiftless, slack, sluggish
definition 3: not used to achieve worthwhile or important goals; frivolous.
They spent their time engaged in idle chatter.
synonyms:
frivolous, petty, shallow, trifling, trivial
antonyms:
meaningful, serious
similar words:
blank, insignificant, nugatory, slight, superficial, useless, vagabond
definition 4: having no basis in fact; groundless.
That's nothing but an idle rumor.
synonyms:
baseless, empty, groundless, pointless, unfounded, unsubstantiated, worthless
antonyms:
proven
similar words:
hollow, insignificant, meaningless
definition 5: futile or useless; ineffective.
I don't put any stock in his idle threats.These were simply idle wishes that would never become reality.
synonyms:
futile, useless, vain
antonyms:
serious
similar words:
aimless, fruitless, good-for-nothing, nugatory, otiose, pointless, void
 
part of speech: intransitive verb
inflections: idled, idles, idling
definition 1: to pass time in not working or not accomplishing anything.
They spent the summer simply idling.
synonyms:
laze, loaf, loll, lollygag, lounge
similar words:
vegetate
definition 2: to move lazily; saunter.
He was idling along the sidewalk.
synonyms:
dawdle, dilly-dally, hang around, linger, loiter, lollygag, mosey, piddle
similar words:
amble, coast, drift, lounge, putter, saunter, slouch, tarry
definition 3: of a machine or motor vehicle, to operate out of gear, slowly, or without accomplishing work or motion.
The car idled in the driveway.
similar words:
rev, run
 
part of speech: transitive verb
definition 1: to pass (time) without accomplishing anything (often fol. by away).
We idled the hours away at the beach.
synonyms:
dawdle, laze, linger, loaf, lounge, while
similar words:
fritter, kill, trifle
definition 2: to cause to be or become idle.
The storm idled the harvest workers.
synonyms:
still
similar words:
deactivate
derivations: idly (adv.), idleness (n.)
Homophone Note
The words idle and idol (a statue) sound alike but have different meanings.
Word Explorer
See
  car, leisure