verb (dilly-dallies, dilly-dallying, dilly-dallied)[no object] • informal
- Waste time through aimless wandering or indecision: don’t dilly-dally for too longMore example sentences
waste time, dally, dawdle, loiter, linger, take one's time, delay, mark time, kill time, while away time, potter, trifle, temporize, stall, procrastinate, drag one's feet, play a waiting game; dither, hesitate, falter, vacillate, waver, fluctuate; British haver, hum and haw; Scottish swither• archaic or • literary tarry
- It's never too early to start loitering, and dilly-dallying.
- Don't four-year-olds often dilly-dally, stall, and do just about everything slowly?
- While they're dilly-dallying, my house is falling apart.
early 17th century: reduplication of dally.