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[lohf] /loʊf/
verb (used without object)
to idle away time:
He figured the mall was as good a place as any for loafing.
to lounge or saunter lazily and idly:
We loafed for hours along the water's edge.
verb (used with object)
to pass idly (usually followed by away):
to loaf one's life away.
Origin of loaf2
1825-35, Americanism; back formation from loafer
Related forms
unloafing, adjective
2. loll, idle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for loafs
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And that soothes him so much he loafs against the tier rail while I knocks on the door of Cell 69.

    Torchy, Private Sec. Sewell Ford
  • He rolls over to the shady side of his gourbi (the sunny side is getting too warm) and loafs along until another autumn.

  • One of them loafs across and explains to the Tribal Herald, who, next week, cries aloud that the road ought to be mended.

  • Knows that 'ouse inside out--loafs there now, the beggar, with Chantel's cook.

    Dragon's blood Henry Milner Rideout
  • Half a loafs better than no bread, and the same remark holds good with crumbs.

    Dickensian Inns & Taverns B. W. (Bertram Waldrom) Matz
  • Thus he loafs on through the years, outside or inside his office, without a care beyond the getting of his whisky and his tobacco.

    A Woman Tenderfoot Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
  • He loafs in Frank's room until Frank has had to give up smoking.

    Stanford Stories Charles K. Field
  • He struts and loafs through the kitchen and lords it over the men.

    Comrades Thomas Dixon
  • They tell me he's turned Atheist, and loafs about all Sunday with a gun.

    The Giant's Robe F. Anstey
British Dictionary definitions for loafs


noun (pl) loaves (ləʊvz)
a shaped mass of baked bread
any shaped or moulded mass of food, such as cooked meat
(slang) the head; sense: use your loaf!
Word Origin
Old English hlāf; related to Old High German hleib bread, Old Norse hleifr, Latin libum cake


(intransitive) to loiter or lounge around in an idle way
(transitive) foll by away. to spend (time) idly: he loafed away his life
Word Origin
C19: perhaps back formation from loafer
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 loafs



late 13c., from Old English hlaf "portion of bread baked in a mass of definite form," from Proto-Germanic *khlaibuz (cf. Old Norse hleifr, Swedish lev, Old Frisian hlef, Old High German hleib, German Laib, Gothic hlaifs "bread, loaf"), of uncertain origin, perhaps connected to Old English hlifian "to raise higher, tower," on the notion of the bread rising as it bakes, but it is unclear whether "loaf" or "bread" is the original sense. Finnish leipä, Old Church Slavonic chlebu, Lithuanian klepas probably are Germanic loan words. Meaning "chopped meat shaped like a bread loaf" is attested from 1787.


1835, American English, back-formation from loafer (1830), which often is regarded as a variant of land loper (1795), a partial loan-translation of German Landläufer "vagabond," from Land "land" + Läufer "runner," from laufen "to run" (see leap). But OED finds this connection "not very probable." Related: Loafed; loafing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with loafs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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