An example of idle is being unemployed and doing nothing all day.
An example of idle is hours spent sitting in a waiting room doing nothing.
An example of idle is to stand in front of a store with a group of friends just hanging out.
An example of idle is for an engine to run while the car sits at the curb.
Idle speculation; idle threats.
Passed idle hours watching TV.
To idle away one's youth.
Idle the afternoon away.
An engine running quietly at idle.
Set the idle higher to keep the motor from stalling.
An engine at idle.
Layoffs that idled 1,000 factory workers; a plant that was idled by a strike.
Origin of idle
- Middle English idel from Old English īdel
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- Old English īdel, from West Germanic *īdla-. Cognate with Dutch ijdel (“vain”), German eitel (“bare, worthless”).