Adjective "idle" definition and examples

Pronunciation

/ˈʌɪd(ə)l/

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Definitions and examples

adjective

(of a person) avoiding work; lazy.
  1. 'Should they be idle, they may be whipped; however, if they work hard, they are to be treated without reproach, and are well used.'
  2. 'Those hours we allow ourselves to remain idle - to give body and mind a rest - can be our most productive times.'
  3. 'Man would have been encouraged by this to be lazy and idle.'
  4. 'Not one to rest idle, the success of Fat Bastard has inspired Guy Anderson to take his concept to Spain.'
  5. 'I realise now that I was idle in doing research in these years because of the pressure of teaching and other business to which I was not accustomed.'
  6. 'Almost day in and day out we hear how our technologists have become somewhat morbid, they're idle, they are incapable of innovation.'
  7. 'They always claim to work hard, but in truth they're nothing but lazy idle sluggards!'
  8. 'Not that he was absolutely idle, or averse to business then; far from it.'
  9. 'Smith's wealth coincided with a dip in his public profile, but he was not idle.'
  10. 'Either way, I will not sit idle for the rest of my life, and you do not have the power to make me.'
  11. '10.3 per cent of the workforce is now idle'
  12. 'However, this did not mean that he was professionally idle.'
  13. 'Not that I am idle, I got my daughter well educated, up to MSc., then fixed up with a software man in Bangalore.'
  14. 'But we are not idle, there are cotton expeditions out all the time.'
  15. 'These students, bored and idle, may turn to making trouble to gain attention and keep interested in what's happening around them.'
  16. 'As an early principal she was scarcely idle, and that was the way she wanted it.'
  17. 'The job of the Archphilarchs is to oversee the people and make sure that nobody is idle and not working hard.'
  18. 'Her perception was that the poor were more likely to be victims of drug abuse since they were mostly idle.'
  19. 'Only fifteen women, a smaller percentage than that of men, reported that they were idle or had no occupation.'
  20. 'But the audience is thinning these days and Yadagiri says he is idle more than six months a year.'
  21. 'The machines are sitting idle with the ground so wet they cannot work.'
  22. 'In addition many take on extra workers at this time of year who still have to be paid, even though combine harvesters are standing idle.'
  23. 'When the children have gone home, these computer facilities and the broadband connections are just standing idle.'
  24. 'Volunteers download a software programme that can help crunch numbers when their machines are idle.'
  25. 'Suppliers can be caught with open capacity, idle machinery or tools and non-utilization of new leading edge technologies or processes.'
  26. 'It was going to be a harsh Christmas for Rolls Royce workers, whose strike entered its fifth week with no prospect of a settlement before the factory, which stood idle, closing down for the two week break.'
  27. 'The unit in Castlebar is currently standing idle.'
  28. 'Show secretary Tim Gardner said fears that many farmers would not risk leaving their combine harvesters standing idle had not materialised.'
  29. 'Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor, the nation's largest mini mill, recently purchased Trico, an idle mill in Alabama.'
  30. 'It sounded like a generator or the engine of a diesel truck but with a deeper sound and intervals that were not as fast as you would hear the revs of an idle engine.'
  31. 'at no time in the day must there be an idle moment'
  32. 'During idle moments I read medical journals such as the Australian Women's Weekly.'
  33. 'Meanwhile, the women will spend any idle moment weaving those offering baskets - instant, perfect, throwaway works of art.'
  34. 'Give an imaginative type an idle moment and suddenly everyone's some strange offshoot of the human race.'
  35. 'Bierce is always amusing, and the idle moment spent picking through his definitions is never wasted.'
  36. 'In an idle moment I went into one of the shops and let the staff demonstrate the miracle to me.'
  37. 'In this way, I can use the few idle moments when my computer is printing or saving a file to memorize a correspondence or two.'
  38. 'Although it seemed like he had gotten over it quickly it still plagued him at idle moments.'
  39. 'In my idle moments I often wonder how the wee thing goes with pronouncing ‘Mistersingha’?'
  40. 'Hamish shook his head from the thoughts invading his head like her face did at every idle moment when she wasn't around.'
  41. 'There is only so much scope for attracting more mobile business users into coffee shops, and keeping them busy in their otherwise idle moments in airports and hotel lobbies.'
  42. 'As treasurer of EMC, the data storage company, she puts a chunk of her company's idle cash into money funds nearly every day.'
  43. 'Only ultra-wealthy geeks like Allen, who have the interest and the idle cash, can afford to put millions at risk.'
Without purpose or effect; pointless.
  1. 'Their culture is to earn more by using less fuel, doing less labour, and carrying fewer passengers, and spend the rest of the time in idle gossip.'
  2. 'To reap the biggest benefits from having someone to train with, however, you need to avoid the idle chitchat and follow these guidelines on how to spot properly.'
  3. 'He stood alone on the terrace, avoiding idle conversations with men he knew he had little in common with.'
  4. 'There is, of course, no chance of a similar ban on trains to prevent idle chatterers driving the rest of us round the twist.'
  5. 'I tucked the idea away, however, sticking it back of my left ear where such stuff goes to percolate and a few days later started to make an idle list of names in my writing notebook.'
  6. 'They spent the rest of the day in idle talk and dozing off when their exhaustion caught up to them.'
  7. 'The decibel level inside the Post newsroom gave the rumor credence far beyond idle chatter.'
  8. 'The rest of the breakfast was spent on idle talk of travel, and of the old woman telling me about Irish life.'
  9. 'I guess I felt that my mind was shriveled up with idle chatter and shallow talk.'
  10. 'Now, little boy, enough of this pointless, idle chit chat.'
  11. 'I knew Ellen did not make idle threats'
  12. 'Again it is convenient to think that these are just idle threats and that the lives of lawyers are not at risk.'
  13. 'Judge Byron's advertising of his willingness to entertain suits from anywhere was no idle boast.'
  14. 'Would we do it if we did not have the US to back up our idle threat?'
  15. 'The larger of the two, Arlen, comes across as an insecure bully, flaunting his juvenile snake tattoo and badgering Muldrow with idle threats.'
  16. 'So he did something that for the rest of us is merely an idle threat.'
  17. 'A showbiz reporter of the old school, he used to possess fearsome power and ‘You'll never play this town again’ was no idle threat.'
  18. 'It may simply be an idle threat - Martin's government appears stable… for now.'
  19. 'Barton's words were ‘potentially not just an idle threat’ and the Armed Response Unit went to see the defendant.'
  20. 'Recent suggestions that we'll see return of the stiletto has been dismissed by fashion critics as an idle threat from the catwalks in Europe and New York this year.'
  21. 'Luckily, the supervisor seemed to be quite bright, and wasn't taken in by these idle threats.'

verb

Spend time doing nothing.
  1. with object 'we idled the afternoon away'
  2. 'Incredibly, with Bryant idling on the bench, the Lakers shook off their distractions and managed to thrash one of their supposed title rivals in their opening game.'
  3. 'It's easy as pie just to sit by the highway, idling, letting the drivers pass you by.'
  4. 'Not that she had been idling away her time until her vocation called - Coppola already had a successful street wear clothing company called Milk Fed and a career as a photographer to her name, both of which she intends to continue.'
  5. 'No one dawdles or idles there, yet they just manage to cope with the job.'
  6. 'By three o'clock that afternoon, idling on a green pathway in the company of Tuke Taylor and watching a farmer mow a flower-rich hay meadow, I felt a long, long way from Lisbon.'
  7. 'After a year idling, Mike started to take music courses in 2003, met people with the same interest and formed a band.'
  8. 'Having spent days idling in Shanghai, China's largest city, the players had never imagined the match would be so brutal and physical, especially in the second half.'
  9. 'Every day, open-backed trucks enter the city packed with families and their possessions - refugees returning home from years spent idling in Pakistan and Iran.'
  10. 'I guess I slept 50% of the trip, ate 30%, and idled 20% of the time on the aircraft.'
  11. 'Script problems trip up Carol Lempert's Edith Frank, too; she idles for an hour-and-a-half as a melancholy mom trying to hold her family together before turning into a heartless monster practically on a dime.'
  12. 'She's so relaxed in behind but idles as soon as she hits the front.'
  13. 'Life reverted to a series of McJobs once again as he idled around the country going from one gun fair to another - the travelling home of the racist, anti-tax, anti-government militia groups that cling to America's underbelly.'
  14. 'Which is fine when we're idling along, watching the world change through Alexander's eyes, but makes the ending feel rushed, as if time was running out too quickly for anyone to think of anything better.'
  15. 'The horse was a bit green and just idled when he hit the front, but hey, don't be greedy!'
  16. 'He picked up well and Johnny said he idled when he hit the front.'
  17. 'The explanation from a soldier idling alongside dozens of troops, was: ‘We're too busy to pick them up.’'
  18. 'He idled in front up the hill but was never seriously troubled to hold on by two lengths from Yogi, with Alexanderthegreat another half-length away in third.'
  19. 'Wyatt spent the rest of his morning before Drama idling from class to class.'
  20. 'We were just idling along northbound on Happy Valley Road just talking, laughing, and listing to rock and roll music.'
  21. 'While the heat in Germany can be offered as some sort of excuse for England's lethargy, it was not that hot when they stumbled against Wales and idled to an embarrassing stop against Northern Ireland in qualifiers.'
  22. 'he will close the newspaper, idling 2,200 workers'
  23. 'Russian secret service personnel, idled by the withering of Russia's global presence, resort to private business or are re-deployed by the state to spy on industrial and economic secrets in order to aid budding Russian multinationals.'
(of an engine) run slowly while disconnected from a load or out of gear.
  1. 'I just sat outside, my car idling, waiting for her to shift to be over.'
  2. 'Never leave the saw unattended with the engine idling.'
  3. 'Josh's car is already waiting, the engine idling.'
  4. 'With the car standing motionless now but with the engine still idling, she can smell foul fumes and heat.'
  5. 'Motors idled, and tailpipes puffed and nobody was going anywhere.'
  6. 'With that capability, a car's engine could be automatically shut off at stoplights, or any time the engine is idling for any length of time.'
  7. 'Anthony sighed, leaving the car engine idling.'
  8. 'The driver pointed a white-gloved hand in the direction of a small ferry boat waiting at the pier, its engine idling.'
  9. 'She still hadn't arrived and the yacht's motors were idling and the galley crew had prepared a wonderful dinner.'
  10. 'Brian pulled into one of the angled parking slots in front of the building and sat, engine idling.'
  11. 'Under the proposed bylaw, drivers would be fined $100 for idling their engines for more than three minutes.'

Definitions

1. not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers.

2. not spent or filled with activity: idle hours.

3. not in use or operation; not kept busy: idle machinery.

4. habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.

5. of no real worth, importance, or significance: idle talk.

6. having no basis or reason; baseless; groundless: idle fears.

7. frivolous; vain: idle pleasures.

8. meaningless; senseless: idle threats. 9. futile; una

More examples(as adjective)

"tonnes can be idle because of lacks."

"prices can be idle at barrels."

"people can be idle in/at/on months."

"people can be idle in halves."

"people can be idle for years."

More examples++

Origin

Old English īdel ‘empty, useless’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijdel ‘vain, frivolous, useless’ and German eitel ‘bare, worthless’.