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[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 dawdled
Historical Examples
  • That's what we thought in the days when we dawdled over Latin exercises.

  • In all that did not directly concern her he had dawdled, and Dorothy knew and resented it.

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • But of all my infant duties the one I dawdled over most was going to sleep.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • We have dawdled to the end of the dawdling period, and come to the active one.

  • We dawdled at our friends' house and breakfasted, and said good-by to our worthy landlord.

  • He dawdled two precious weeks away at Tours; then he went to Loches, and dawdled there.

    Joan of Arc Laura E. Richards
  • Lucy tripped away, right well pleased, and Mollie dawdled the time over her supper and a book.

    The Unseen Bridgegroom May Agnes Fleming
  • I exclaimed, as he dawdled up to me at the hot and dusty station.

  • Until a quarter to three he expertly shuffled and dawdled and evaded.

    The Wrong Twin Harry Leon Wilson
  • Some dawdled, window shopped, or strolled along for the air.

    Combat Dallas McCord Reynolds
British Dictionary definitions for dawdled


(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 dawdled



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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