In idle
Idle I"dle, a. [Compar. {Idler}; superl. {Idlest}.] [OE. idel, AS. [=i]del vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. [=i]dal, D. ijdel, OHG. [=i]tal vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. ? clear, pure, ? to burn. Cf. {Ether}.] 1. Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren. ``Deserts idle.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. --Matt. xii. 36. [1913 Webster]

Down their idle weapons dropped. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

This idle story became important. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed; as, idle hours. [1913 Webster]

The idle spear and shield were high uphing. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing; as, idle workmen. [1913 Webster]

Why stand ye here all the day idle? --Matt. xx. 6. [1913 Webster]

4. Given rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; slothful; as, an idle fellow. [1913 Webster]

5. Light-headed; foolish. [Obs.] --Ford. [1913 Webster]

{Idle pulley} (Mach.), a pulley that rests upon a belt to tighten it; a pulley that only guides a belt and is not used to transmit power.

{Idle wheel} (Mach.), a gear wheel placed between two others, to transfer motion from one to the other without changing the direction of revolution.

{In idle}, in vain. [Obs.] ``God saith, thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in idle.'' --Chaucer.

Syn: Unoccupied; unemployed; vacant; inactive; indolent; sluggish; slothful; useless; ineffectual; futile; frivolous; vain; trifling; unprofitable; unimportant.

Usage: {Idle}, {Indolent}, {Lazy}. A propensity to inaction is expressed by each of these words; they differ in the cause and degree of this characteristic. Indolent denotes an habitual love to ease, a settled dislike of movement or effort; idle is opposed to {busy}, and denotes a dislike of continuous exertion. Lazy is a stronger and more contemptuous term than indolent. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow — published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and it helped establish him as a leading English humorist. While widely considered one of Jerome’s better works, and in spite of …   Wikipedia

  • Idle — I dle, a. [Compar. {Idler}; superl. {Idlest}.] [OE. idel, AS. [=i]del vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. [=i]dal, D. ijdel, OHG. [=i]tal vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. ? clear, pure, ? to burn. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Idle pulley — Idle I dle, a. [Compar. {Idler}; superl. {Idlest}.] [OE. idel, AS. [=i]del vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. [=i]dal, D. ijdel, OHG. [=i]tal vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. ? clear, pure, ? to burn. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Idle wheel — Idle I dle, a. [Compar. {Idler}; superl. {Idlest}.] [OE. idel, AS. [=i]del vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. [=i]dal, D. ijdel, OHG. [=i]tal vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. ? clear, pure, ? to burn. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • idle — [OE] ‘Lazy’ is only a secondary meaning of idle. It originally meant ‘useless, worthless’ (as in ‘idle threats’), and the sense ‘lazy’ did not develop until the 13th century (the Old English words for ‘lazy’ were slow and slack). Idle is shared… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • idle — [OE] ‘Lazy’ is only a secondary meaning of idle. It originally meant ‘useless, worthless’ (as in ‘idle threats’), and the sense ‘lazy’ did not develop until the 13th century (the Old English words for ‘lazy’ were slow and slack). Idle is shared… …   Word origins

  • Idle animations — refer to animations within video games that occur when the player does not do any action (hence being idle). These sorts of animations are largely popular with action games, where players may rarely be idle and thus serve as easter eggs. One of… …   Wikipedia

  • Idle Moments — Studioalbum von Grant Green Veröffentlichung 1964 Aufnahme 1963 La …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Idle speed — is the minimum operating speed (generally measured in revolutions per minute, or rpm, of the crankshaft) of a combustion engine. At idle speed, the engine generates enough power to run reasonably smoothly and operate its ancillaries (water pump,… …   Wikipedia

  • Idle — [ aɪdl] (engl. „untätig“, „unausgenutzt“) bezeichnet in der Informatik den Umstand, dass ein Prozess untätig ist oder eine Ressource ungenutzt bleibt. Zum einen ist Idling unerwünscht, da brach liegende Kapazitäten die Effizienz des Systems… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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