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footle Line breaks: foo¦tle
Pronunciation: /ˈfuːt(ə)l/

Definition of footle in English:


[no object] chiefly British
Engage in fruitless activity; mess about: where’s that pesky creature that was footling about outside?
More example sentences
  • I'm happily watching England footle around against Liechtenstein, (world leaders in denture manufacture) in a Euro 2004 qualifier on the telly.
  • He has been dubbed Canada's David Lynch, which is a lazy way of saying he likes to footle around beneath the facade of respectability.
  • Having taken the lead against Turkey their football became fitful, then flabby, and towards the end was footling.


Late 19th century: perhaps from dialect footer 'idle, potter about', from 16th-century foutre 'worthless thing', from Old French, literally 'have sexual intercourse with'.

  • This word for engaging in fruitless activity is perhaps from dialect footer ‘to idle, potter about’, from 16th-century foutre ‘worthless thing’: this comes from Old French, with a literal meaning ‘have sexual intercourse with’, but with a long history of much milder associations than the English equivalent.

Words that rhyme with footle

brutal, pootle, refutal, rootle, tootle
Definition of footle in:
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