Definition of Idle

1. Noun. The state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling. "The car engine was running at idle"

Generic synonyms: Operation

2. Verb. Run disconnected or idle. "The engine is idling"
Exact synonyms: Tick Over
Antonyms: Run

3. Adjective. Not in action or at work. "An idle mind"

4. Verb. Be idle; exist in a changeless situation. "He slugged in bed all morning"

5. Adjective. Without a basis in reason or fact. "Unwarranted jealousy"
Exact synonyms: Baseless, Groundless, Unfounded, Unwarranted, Wild
Similar to: Unsupported
Derivative terms: Idleness

6. Adjective. Not in active use. "Idle hands"
Exact synonyms: Unused
Similar to: Inactive
Derivative terms: Idleness

7. Adjective. Silly or trivial. "Light idle chatter"
Exact synonyms: Light
Similar to: Frivolous
Derivative terms: Lightness

8. Adjective. Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility. "A loose tongue"
Exact synonyms: Loose
Similar to: Irresponsible
Derivative terms: Looseness

9. Adjective. Not yielding a return. "Idle funds"
Exact synonyms: Dead
Similar to: Unprofitable

10. Adjective. Not having a job. "Many people in the area were out of work"
Exact synonyms: Jobless, Out Of Work
Similar to: Unemployed
Derivative terms: Idleness

Definition of Idle

1. a. Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren.

2. v. i. To lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.

3. v. t. To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume; -- often followed by away; as, to idle away an hour a day.

Definition of Idle

1. Adjective. (obsolete) Empty, vacant. ¹

2. Adjective. Not turned to appropriate use; not occupied. ¹

3. Adjective. Not engaged in any occupation or employment; unemployed; inactive; doing nothing. ¹

4. Adjective. Averse to work, labor or employment; lazy; slothful. ¹

5. Adjective. Of no importance; useless; worthless; vain; trifling; thoughtless; silly. ¹

6. Verb. (transitive) To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume. ¹

7. Verb. (intransitive) To lose or spend time doing nothing, or without being employed in business. ¹

8. Verb. (intransitive) Of an engine: to run at a slow speed, or out of gear; to tick-over. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Idle

1. inactive [adj IDLER, IDLEST] / to pass time idly [v IDLED, IDLING, IDLES] - See also: inactive

Medical Definition of Idle

1. 1. Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren. "Deserts idle." "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." (Matt. Xii. 36) "Down their idle weapons dropped." (Milton) "This idle story became important." (Macaulay) 2. Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed; as, idle hours. "The idle spear and shield were high uphing." (Milton) 3. Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing; as, idle workmen. "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" (Matt. Xx. 6) 4. Given rest and ease; averse to labour or employment; lazy; slothful; as, an idle fellow. 5. Light-headed; foolish. Idle pulley, 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. "God saith, thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord God in idle." Synonym: Unoccupied, unemployed, vacant, inactive, indolent, sluggish, slothful, useless, ineffectual, futile, frivolous, vain, trifling, unprofitable, unimportant. 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. Origin: OE. Idel, AS. Idel vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. Idal, D. Ijdel, OHG. Ital vain, empty, mere, G. Eitel, Dan. & Sw. Idel mere, pure, and prob. To Gr. Clear, pure, to burn. Cf. Ether. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Idle

idiotype antibody
idiotype autoantibody
idiotypic antigenic determinant
idioventricular rhythm
iditol dehydrogenase
idle (current term)
idle hands are the devil's playthings
idle hands are the devil's tools
idle hands are the devil's workshop
idle pulley
idle talk
idle wheel
idle words

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