Loiter meaning

loitər
To walk or move slowly and indolently, with frequent stops and pauses; often, specif., to linger aimlessly in a public place.
verb
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To hover over or remain near an area.

Fog loitered over the mountains. A jet loitered in the sky near the airbase.

verb
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To linger in an aimless way; spend time idly.
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To spend (time) idly.

Loitered away the day.

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To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.

For some reason, they discourage loitering outside the store, but encourage it inside.

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The definition of loiter is to hang around someplace without a reason to be there.

When you hang out at a store without any intent to buy anything, this is an example of a situation where you loiter.

verb
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To proceed slowly or with many stops.

Loitered all the way home.

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To act slowly or with leisure; take one's time.
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Origin of loiter

  • Middle English loitren probably from Middle Dutch loteren to totter, be loose

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary