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

  • intransitive v. To stand idly about; linger aimlessly.
  • intransitive v. To proceed slowly or with many stops: loitered all the way home.
  • intransitive v. To delay or dawdle: loiter over a task.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To be slow in moving; to delay; to linger; to be dilatory; to spend time idly; to saunter; to lag behind.
  • intransitive v. To wander as an idle vagrant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To linger; be unduly slow in moving; delay; be dilatory; spend time idly.
  • Synonyms To lag, tarry, saunter, dilly-dally.
  • To consume or waste, as time, idly or carelessly: used with away: as, he loitered away most of his leisure.

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

  • v. be about


Middle English loitren, probably from Middle Dutch loteren, to totter, be loose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English loitren, from Middle Dutch loteren ("to shake, wag, wobble"), ultimately connected with a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *lūtanan (“to bend, stoop, cower, shrink from, decline”), see lout. Cognate with Modern Dutch leuteren ("to dawdle"), Swiss German lottern ("to wobble"), German Lotterbube ("rascal"). More at lout, little. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.