Definition of dilly-dally in English:


Line breaks: dilly-dally
Pronunciation: /ˈdɪlɪdali

verb (dilly-dallies, dilly-dallying, dilly-dallied)

[no object] informal
Waste time through aimless wandering or indecision: don’t dilly-dally for too long
More example sentences
  • 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.
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;
British haver, hum and haw;
Scottish swither
informal shilly-shally, blow hot and cold, let the grass grow under one's feet, pussyfoot around
archaic or literary tarry


early 17th century: reduplication of dally.

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈretrəˌfleks
turned backward