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[loh-fer] /ˈloʊ fər/
a person who loafs; lazy person; idler.
Origin of loafer
1820-30, Americanism; perhaps short for *landloafer vagabond; compare German (obsolete) Landläufer, Dutch landloper; see landloper
Related forms
loaferish, adjective


[loh-fer] /ˈloʊ fər/
a brand name for a moccasinlike slip-on shoe. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for loafer
Historical Examples
  • What was this loafer's case or anybody's case compared with mine?

    Options O. Henry
  • He spoke in a refined voice, though his appearance was that of a loafer.

    The Golden Face William Le Queux
  • loafer” was written all over him—from his ragged, matted hair to the fringe on the bottom of his trousers.

    Tales of the Malayan Coast Rounsevelle Wildman
  • I should ship as a loafer if ever I shipped at all, which I'm not going to do.

  • All the mowing was done with scythes, and the raking with hand rakes and "loafer" rakes.

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • In the first place, Keats was anything but a loafer at literature.

    The Bibliotaph Leon H. Vincent
  • You lazy, guzzling, good-for-nothing son of a God-damn loafer!

    Mrs. Bindle Hebert Jenkins
  • Only one man may be scouted by any one, and that is the loafer.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
  • One night, he was awakened by the gambler shaking him, and calling him a loafer.

    Secret Band of Brothers Jonathan Harrington Green
  • What did she think he was—a fool, a loafer, a uniformed nonentity?

    The Game of Rat and Dragon Cordwainer Smith
British Dictionary definitions for loafer


a person who avoids work; idler
a moccasin-like shoe for casual wear
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from German Landläufer vagabond
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 loafer

"idler, person who loafs," 1830, of uncertain origin (see loaf (v.)). As a type of shoe, 1937. Related: Loafers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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