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dawdle

[dawd-l] /ˈdɔd l/
verb (used without object), dawdled, dawdling.
1.
to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter:
Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
2.
to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
verb (used with object), dawdled, dawdling.
3.
to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away):
He dawdled away the whole morning.
Origin of dawdle
1650-1660
1650-60; variant of daddle to toddle
Related forms
dawdler, noun
dawdlingly, adverb
Synonyms
1, 2. See loiter. 3. fritter, putter, idle, trifle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dawdling
Historical Examples
  • "They're going to dinner; we oughtn't to be dawdling here," she said.

    The Reverberator Henry James
  • The six were dawdling away our time one fine Sunday in Lynhurst Park.

    Aladdin & Co. Herbert Quick
  • The plays were played very swiftly, without hesitation or dawdling over "business."

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • Either you must conquer your habit of dawdling,” he said, “or it will conquer you.

    Parkhurst Boys Talbot Baines Reed
  • Why should these fifty idlers spend their days dawdling about the streets?

    The Fourth Estate, vol.1 Armando Palacio Valds
  • We have been dawdling about in this wretched country long enough.

  • “I measured it this morning while you were dawdling over your breakfast,” answered Croyden.

    In Her Own Right John Reed Scott
  • There was luncheon; some dawdling and scolding about the weather.

    A Little Girl in Old San Francisco Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • They wandered on, laughing and dawdling, and yielding to the drifting whims of aimless people.

    The Glimpses of the Moon Edith Wharton
  • We have dawdled to the end of the dawdling period, and come to the active one.

British Dictionary definitions for dawdling

dawdle

/ˈdɔːdəl/
verb
1.
(intransitive) to be slow or lag behind
2.
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 dawdling

dawdle

v.

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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