Share this entry

British English: /ˈʌɪd(ə)l/
American English: /ˈaɪdl/

Translation of idle in French:


  • 2 (vain, pointless)
    (boast, threat)
    (speculation, question, curiosity)
    (conversation, chatter, remark)
    it would be idle to attempt to do
    ce serait vain de tenter de faire
  • 3 (without occupation)
    (day, hour, moment)
    de loisir
    the idle rich
    les riches oisifs
    100 men made idle
    100 hommes mis au chômage
  • 4 (not functioning)
    (port, dock, mine)
    to lie ou stand idle
    (machine, factory)
    être à l'arrêt
    rester inexploité

intransitive verb


the devil makes work for idle hands

l'oisiveté est mère de tous les vices

Phrasal verbs

idle away

idle away [something], idle [something] away
passer [quelque chose] à ne rien faire
(day, hours)
to idle away one's life/time
passer sa vie/son temps à ne rien faire

Definition of idle in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources


    Next Score:
    Word of the day confidant
    Pronunciation: ˈkɒnfɪdant
    a person with whom one shares a secret...