from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.
  • n. Indulging in idle fancies or daydreams.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Indulging in a vagrant or idle exercise of the imagination; roaming upon a fruitless quest; idly fanciful.
  • n. Indulgence in idle imagination; a foolish or useless pursuit or design.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of gathering wool: usually applied figuratively to the indulgence of idle fancies or to any foolish or fruitless pursuit.

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

  • n. an idle indulgence in fantasy
  • adj. dreamy in mood or nature


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Perpetual regret well describes the mood of the speakers in "Great House," and at times their stories recede into sloughs of forlorn woolgathering.

    A Desk and Its Stories

  • Like woolgathering and other empty pursuits, wistful might-have-beens had no place in my mind.

    lo, a fic. « Love | Peace | Ohana

  • People my age or not too much younger may remember times as a child -- and even later -- when they stared aimlessly at sunlight playing on trees, or lay on their backs looking up at clouds or otherwise engaged in that hopelessly antediluvian activity -- woolgathering.

    Stanton Peele: Solitude: Alone or on the iPhone

  •             But my publisher was a benighted occupant of that quotidian realm where these things have been forgotten; all he and anyone else cares about these days isrelevantfacts, not the useless trivia I had accumulated over a lifetime of woolgathering.

    My Fictional Tormenter

  • Idea sessions can easily dissolve into wandering and woolgathering.

    The 10 Commandments Of Brainstorming

  • She snorted, angry at woolgathering, knowing that among the younger ones it would appear as senility.

    The Shattering

  • A gentle buzzing at the base of his skull reminded him that his woolgathering was happening on company time.

    365 tomorrows » 2008 » February : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • Just woolgathering, really wanted to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas, and may your miles be as happy as mine.

    Some Savagery for the New Year

  • These two ur-WASP gentlemen were tossing around what might be the contents of the eventual anthology GREAT ESQUIRE FICTION, and it was sort of wonderful to watch them and then it was sort of excruciating, as there was a lot of fumbling around and opinions that never yielded any concrete result and pointless general woolgathering.

    An Books Blog featuring news, reviews, interviews and guest author blogs.

  • I can speak with authority that I often went woolgathering over Alfric2s untimely death.



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  • "He chivalrously covered my position as well as his own, so my woolgathering was only interrupted when it was my turn to serve; my team ducked warily out of the way everytime I as up"- Twilight, Stephanie Meyer, pg.51

    October 27, 2010

  • I love that this word we use synonymously for "lollygagging" comes from the actual practice of picking tufts of wool off of bushes where wandering sheep left them. I imagine if tasked with that job, one might do quite a bit of mental woolgathering as well. Cool word, cool history!

    February 13, 2007