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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Idle


I'DLE, adjective

1. Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing.

Why stand ye here all the day idle? Matthew 20:3.

To be idle is to be vicious.

2. Slothful; given to rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; as an idle man; an idle fellow.

3. Affording leisure; vacant; not occupied; as idle time; idle hours.

4. Remaining unused; unemployed; applied to things; as, my sword or spear is idle

5. Useless; vain; ineffectual; as idle rage.

6. Unfruitful; barren; not productive of good.

Of antres vast and idle desarts.

Idle weeds.

7. Trifling; vain; of no importance; as an idle story; an idle reason; idle arguments.

8. Unprofitable; not tending to edification.

Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36.

Idle differs from lazy; the latter implying constitutional or habitual aversion or indisposition to labor or action, sluggishness; whereas idle in its proper sense, denotes merely unemployed. An industrious man may be idle but he cannot be lazy.

I'DLE, verb intransitive To lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.

To idle away, in a transitive sense, to spend in idleness; as, to idle away time.