Definition of idleness in English:



mass noun
  • 1Laziness; indolence.

    ‘he was punished for his idleness at school’
    • ‘The law was against loitering, though it may as well have been against idleness and sloth.’
    • ‘Then there is the deep-rooted fear of idleness.’
    • ‘They are saying that due to their idleness and lethargy they are not taking water.’
    • ‘Jobless after he went home, the unendurable idleness led him back to his old ‘friends,’ with whom he first took drugs.’
    • ‘Look up that invaluable book, Scots Thesaurus, and you will find four or five pages given over to words denoting idleness and laziness, all contemptuous.’
    laziness, indolence, slothfulness, sloth, shiftlessness, inertia, sluggishness, lethargy, languor, torpidity, torpor
    inactivity, inaction, unemployment, rest, repose
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A state of inaction; inactivity.
      ‘we suffered a period of enforced idleness’
      • ‘The night wasn't totally spent in idleness.’
      • ‘Being condemned on account of their riches to a life of idleness which is repugnant to human nature, the majority of them enjoy neither physical nor moral health.’
      • ‘A lifetime of idleness in academia would have really suited me.’
      • ‘The week has been an odd mix of haste and idleness.’
      • ‘The ancestors of modern professors, humanists tried to reconcile (intellectual) labor with the cultivation of idleness based on classical paradigms.’
      • ‘My own work has proceeded in fits and starts throughout the holiday, with long intervals of idleness in between.’
      • ‘In their own ennui of the day, they passed their idleness with staring out the window to spy Elizabeth's coming from the back lawns accompanied by two gentlemen.’
      • ‘Boats fostered unusually intimate encounters because of the enforced idleness of travel and because of their physical isolation.’
      • ‘Winter, by contrast, meant long periods of enforced idleness for a vast pool of casual labour.’
      • ‘This busy idleness is our undoing.’
      • ‘The idleness for which the blacks are reproached is the consequence of the treatment to which they have been subjected.’
      • ‘The crowded huts, the waiting for food handouts, the idleness are steadily taking their toll.’
      • ‘I don't have much to do at work, which leads to long periods of idleness.’
      • ‘He starts by saying that during a period of idleness, he began looking for a ship to crew.’
      • ‘He looked around, marveling at the idleness of the people around him.’
      • ‘Jobless after he went home, the unendurable idleness led him back to his old "friends," with whom he first took drugs.’
      • ‘Two weeks of this enforced idleness nearly kills me.’
      • ‘Only the intrusions of his neighbour, Mrs Mac, detract from a life of idleness.’
      • ‘Inclination to idleness, which public institutions have fostered among certain nations, not only binds men, but also fetters fortunes.’
      • ‘Government unemployment insurance and welfare cause unemployment by subsidizing idleness.’