Definition of dawdle in English:

dawdle

Line breaks: daw¦dle
Pronunciation: /ˈdɔːd(ə)l
 
/

verb

[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.
    Synonyms
    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.
    Synonyms
    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

Derivatives

dawdler

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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