When you hang out at a store without any intent to buy anything, this is an example of a situation where you loiter.
- to linger in an aimless way; spend time idly: often with about
- to walk or move slowly and indolently, with frequent stops and pauses; often, specif., to linger aimlessly in a public place
Origin of loiterMiddle English loitren from Middle Dutch loteren (Du leuteren, to dawdle), akin to Old English loddere, beggar from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)leu-, to hang loosely from source sleet, slur
intransitive verbloi·tered, loi·ter·ing, loi·ters
- a. To stand idly about; linger without any purpose.b. Law To violate a law or ordinance that prohibits persons from remaining in a given location without a clear purpose for an extended period of time, especially when behaving in a manner indicating a possible threat to persons or property in the vicinity.
- To hover over or remain near an area: Fog loitered over the mountains. A jet loitered in the sky near the airbase.
- To proceed slowly or with many stops: loitered all the way home.
- To act slowly or with leisure; take one's time: “The organist loitered over the keys, making sure of his mastery of the coming Sabbath anthem” ( O. Henry )
Origin of loiterMiddle English loitren probably from Middle Dutch loteren to totter, be loose
(third-person singular simple present loiters, present participle loitering, simple past and past participle loitered)
From Middle English loitren, from Middle Dutch loteren (“to shake, wag, wobble"), ultimately connected with a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *lÅ«tanÄ… (“to bend, stoop, cower, shrink from, decline"), see lout. Cognate with Modern Dutch leuteren (“to dawdle"), Swiss German lottern (“to wobble"), German Lotterbube (“rascal"). More at lout, little.