Meaning of idle

i•dle

Pronunciation: (īd'l), [key]
— adj., v. n. i•dler, i•dlest, i•dled, i•dling,
—adj.
  1. not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers.
  2. not spent or filled with activity: idle hours.
  3. not in use or operation; not kept busy: idle machinery.
  4. habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.
  5. of no real worth, importance, or significance: idle talk.
  6. having no basis or reason; baseless; groundless: idle fears.
  7. frivolous; vain: idle pleasures.
  8. meaningless; senseless: idle threats.
  9. futile; unavailing: idle rage.
—v.i.
  1. to pass time doing nothing.
  2. to move, loiter, or saunter aimlessly: to idle along the avenue.
  3. (of a machine, engine, or mechanism) to operate at a low speed, disengaged from the load.
—v.t.
  1. to pass (time) doing nothing (often fol. by away): to idle away the afternoon.
  2. to cause (a person) to be idle: The strike idled many workers.
  3. to cause (a machine, engine, or mechanism) to idle: I waited in the car while idling the engine.
—n.
  1. the state or quality of being idle.
  2. the state of a machine, engine, or mechanism that is idling: a cold engine that stalls at idle.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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