Idle - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |ˈaɪdl|  American pronunciation of the word idle
Brit.  |ˈaɪdəl|  British pronunciation of the word idle


- the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling
the car engine was running at idle


- run disconnected or idle (syn: tick over)
- be idle; exist in a changeless situation (syn: laze, slug, stagnate)


- without a basis in reason or fact (syn: baseless, groundless, unfounded, unwarranted, wild)
idle fears
- not in active use (syn: unused)
the machinery sat idle during the strike
idle hands
- silly or trivial (syn: light)
idle pleasure
light idle chatter
- lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility (syn: loose)
idle talk
- not yielding a return (syn: dead)
idle funds
- not having a job (syn: jobless)
idle carpenters

Extra examples

There has been a lot of idle speculation about what might happen, but no one really knows.

She left the engine idling for a few seconds before she turned it off.

The cars idled in traffic.

A group of boys idled in the doorway.

The factory closed, idling several hundred workers.

Thousands of workers have been idled by the bad economy.

The factory has been idled by the strike.

The machinery stood idle for a month.

I cannot afford to leave the land lying idle.

The whole team stood idle, waiting for the mechanic.

The workers have been idle for the last six months.

She was not a woman to make idle threats.

It was only from idle curiosity that she went into the barn.

Go and wake up that idle brother of yours.

He flicked a switch and let the boat idle.

Word forms

I/you/we/they: idle
he/she/it: idles
present participle: idling
past tense: idled
past participle: idled
comparative: idler
superlative: idlest
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