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twiddle one's thumbs

Definition of twiddle one's thumbs in English:

1Rotate one’s thumbs around each other with the fingers linked together.
Example sentences
  • ‘Well, you followed me,’ Trent pointed out with a smile, twiddling his thumbs together as he made himself more comfortable on the ground.
  • ‘He says some b-b-bad things to me sometimes,’ Jamie said twiddling his thumbs together nervously.
  • She began twiddling her thumbs together and staring at the wall ahead of her.
1.1Be bored or idle because one has nothing to do.
Example sentences
  • Everyone sat around looking embarrassed and twiddling their thumbs as usual.
  • If I didn't come here in the night, I'd be sitting around at home, twiddling my thumbs and thinking about going to a real bar.
  • All that sitting around twiddling my thumbs, and pretty soon even the dishes seemed like an interesting option.
Synonyms
be idle, do nothing, kill time, waste time, hang around, stand/sit around
informal futz around
See parent entry: twiddle

Definition of twiddle one's thumbs in:

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