Definition of dawdle in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɔːd(ə)l/


[no object]
1Waste time; be slow: she mustn’t dawdle—she had to make the call now
More example sentences
  • Don't dawdle - questions must reach us by next Wednesday.
  • The Greek international dawdled and as he did so his captain stepped out of midfield and waved his arms madly at him.
  • Not a lot of time for dawdling around in cafés and coffee bars today.
linger, dally, take one's time, drag one's feet, be slow, waste time, kill time, fritter time away, idle;
delay, procrastinate, stall, hang fire, mark time, potter about/around/round
informal dilly-dally, let the grass grow under one's feet
archaic or literary tarry
1.1 [with adverbial of direction] Move slowly and idly in a particular direction: Ruth dawdled back through the wood
More example sentences
  • We dawdled in the general direction of the city and then sat around in Bow looking down at the cars zizzing past at high speed.
  • There's not much to do here but fish, dive, watch the sun sizzle down into the Indian Ocean and to dawdle your bicycle along the island's one path.
  • It dawdles across the sky and sets slowly at a glancing angle.
amble, stroll, go/walk slowly, loiter (along), move at a snail's pace, not keep pace, hold back, lag behind, fall behind, trail behind
informal mosey, tootle
British informal pootle, bimble, mooch, swan
North American informal putter



Pronunciation: /ˈdɔːd(ə)lə/
Example sentences
  • On Sunday, two boys and two girls were mixing with the general gathering - window-shoppers, dawdlers, and so on - carrying signboards that said, ‘crazy sales’.
  • After a 2 minute shuffle of dawdlers assembling themselves, Ms. Fellcart flicked on the over-head projector and began jotting down the groups.
  • Dalliers, dawdlers and daydreamers learn to camouflage their lack of achievement in torrents of words.


Mid 17th century: related to dialect daddle, doddle 'dally'.

Words that rhyme with dawdle

caudal, chordal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: daw¦dle

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