9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[dawd-l] /ˈdɔd l/
verb (used without object), dawdled, dawdling.
to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter:
Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
verb (used with object), dawdled, dawdling.
to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away):
He dawdled away the whole morning.
Origin of dawdle
1650-60; variant of daddle to toddle
Related forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dawdle
  • One cannot dawdle if one wishes to hook one of these gleaming acrobatic fish.
  • But players must not dawdle in solving that equation.
  • People act in a timely way when given concrete tasks but dawdle when they view them in abstract terms.
  • Don't dawdle if any of these outfits look appealing.
  • He did, however, allow the singers to dawdle over their lines too much.
  • Don't let them dawdle in the press room during warm-ups, either.
  • It doesn't dawdle with romantic nonsense, except in one brief unfortunate stretch.
  • The children don't come here to dawdle in restaurants and shop for shell-themed home accents.
  • Whether you accepted or rejected him, however, you didn't dawdle.
  • No need to hurry to redeem those gift cards, but think twice before you dawdle this year when returning unwanted gifts.
British Dictionary definitions for dawdle


(intransitive) to be slow or lag behind
when tr, often foll by away. to waste (time); trifle
Derived Forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dawdle

1650s, perhaps a variant of daddle "to walk unsteadily." Perhaps influenced by daw, because the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until c.1775. Related: Dawdled; dawdling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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