verb daw·dle \ˈd-dəl\

: to move or act too slowly

daw·dleddaw·dling \ˈd-dliŋ, -dəl-iŋ\

Full Definition of DAWDLE

intransitive verb
:  to spend time idly
:  to move lackadaisically
transitive verb
:  to spend fruitlessly or lackadaisically <dawdled the day away>
daw·dler \ˈd-dlər, -dəl-ər\ noun

Origin of DAWDLE

origin unknown
First Known Use: circa 1656

Synonym Discussion of DAWDLE

delay, retard, slow, slacken, detain mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival <bad weather delayed our arrival>. retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping <language barriers retarded their progress>. slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention <medication slowed the patient's heart rate>, slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort <on hot days runners slacken their pace>. detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time <unexpected business had detained her>.

delay, procrastinate, lag, loiter, dawdle, dally mean to move or act slowly so as to fall behind. delay usually implies a putting off (as a beginning or departure) <we cannot delay any longer>. procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy <procrastinates about making decisions>. lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others <lagging behind in technology>. loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time <loitered at several store windows> <children dawdling on their way home from school>. dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary <stop dallying and get to work>.

Rhymes with DAWDLE

DAWDLE Defined for Kids


verb daw·dle \ˈd-dəl\

Definition of DAWDLE for Kids

:  to spend time wastefully :  dally <He couldn't afford to dawdle. He was way behind the others … — Louis Sachar, Holes>
:  to move slowly and without purpose <Don't dawdle in the hall.>


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