Choose the right word
loiter, dawdle, dally, idle, lag
Someone who hangs around downtown after the stores are closed and appears to be deliberately wasting time is said to loiter, a verb that connotes improper or sinister motives ( the police warned the boys not to loiter). To dawdle is to pass time in a leisurely way or to pursue something halfheartedly ( dawdling in a bookstore; dawdle over a sinkful of dishes). Someone who dallies dawdles in a particularly pleasurable and relaxed way, with connotations of amorous activity ( he dallied with his girlfriend when he should have been working). Idle suggests that the person makes a habit of avoiding work or activity ( idle away the hours of a hot summer day), while lag suggests falling behind or failing to maintain a desirable rate of progress ( she lagged several yards behind her classmates as they walked to the museum).