from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To take more time than necessary.
  • intransitive verb To move aimlessly or lackadaisically.
  • intransitive verb To waste (time) by idling.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A trifler; a dawdler.
  • To idle; waste time; trifle; loiter.
  • To waste by trifling: with away: as, to dawdle away a whole forenoon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To waste by trifling.
  • noun A dawdler.
  • intransitive verb To waste time in trifling employment; to trifle; to saunter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive To spend time idly and unfruitfully, to waste time.
  • verb transitive To spend (time) without haste or purpose.
  • verb intransitive To move or walk lackadaisically.
  • noun A dawdler.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.
  • verb waste time
  • verb take one's time; proceed slowly


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Perhaps alteration of dialectal daddle, to diddle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. First attested around 1656; variant of daddle ("to walk unsteadily"), perhaps influenced by daw, since the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until around 1775.


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  • I must confess to a propensity to dawdle.

    August 7, 2007