idle, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, loafing, inactive, inert, sluggish, lethargic, languorous, listless, torpid, enervated, slow-moving, slow, heavy, dull, plodding; remiss, negligent, slack, lax, lackadaisical, impassive, good-for-nothing, do-nothing; leisurely
informal bone idle
French archaic fainéant
[Antonyms] active industrious energetic
Choose the right word
lazy, idle, indolent
People described as any of these words are reluctant to expend any energy or go to any trouble over work they have to do.Lazy is the most general word ( he's too lazy to mow the lawn). Of the three words, only lazy can also be used to describe something done without much effort ( lazy speaking leads to lazy writing). Uncritically, it can be used of a time when little effort is expended ( what better way to liven up these lazy summer days) or, figuratively, of inanimate objects ( the Neapolitan Riviera extends in a lazy curve around the coast).Idle can be more strongly critical than lazy ( you're an idle scrounger) but is normally used in more formal contexts. Care is sometimes needed to avoid confusion with the sense ‘out of work’, as in 10.3 per cent of the workforce is now idle.Indolent is rarer, and more formal still ( their leaders and functionaries have been indolent, self-serving, or downright corrupt). It can sometimes indicate slow, even graceful movements ( she moved across the room with an indolent, hip-swaying saunter).