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1 Stand or wait around without apparent purpose.‘she saw Mary loitering near the cloakrooms’
linger, potter, wait, skulkView synonyms
- ‘My only other complaint was the over-attentive waiters, who always seemed to be loitering somewhere nearby, waiting for something to happen or checking that everything was fine.’
- ‘Be aware of youths loitering near vehicles or at traffic lights’
- ‘Even though I was used to this kind of thing, being that I was perpetually hanging around with Celia, I loitered near the door while she browsed.’
- ‘He was a generally despicable character, always loitering near his betters like a poisonous cloud, seeking only to advance his own pathetic powers.’
- ‘Outside my window I could see Neil, my former team leader, loitering near the car park entrance.’
- ‘During this hostile exchange, Nageku loitered near the buffet table and helped himself to some wine.’
- ‘I hold that one can loiter without being stationary.’
- ‘It turns out Risaku's mere hunch became reality and an assassin stood there, loitering in the doorway.’
- ‘Nel had also been seen loitering near her home almost daily, standing there while watching her house.’
- ‘This was a place for lost souls to loiter, waiting for a judgment never to come.’
- ‘Her eyes strayed to a biker loitering near his glitzy ride, all chrome and shiny metallic exhaust pipes.’
- ‘I engaged in mundane chit-chat and constantly asked dumb questions to just about anyone who happened to be loitering in the vicinity.’
- ‘We found that parental males keep track of how many sneaker males they see loitering near their nests during spawning time.’
- ‘Be especially aware of strangers loitering around ATMs this time of year.’
- ‘I looked out of the window and could see three men loitering near the shop.’
- ‘You're standing here loitering about in a very suspicious manner.’
- ‘A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said the man, who lives in Little Horton, challenged the group of five or six youths he discovered loitering near his car.’
- ‘Egg-laying hens loiter near their hen house and sometimes into the flowerbed.’
- ‘He said the police often received reports of young people loitering around street corners, but the fact is ‘they have a right to be there’.’
- ‘The thin man who had been loitering near the doorway slipped up to Umberto.’
- 1.1[with adverbial of direction]Walk slowly and with no apparent purpose; dawdle.‘the weather had tempted them to loiter along the banks of the Cherwell’
- ‘Alabaster couples loitered along the garden path, handsome, whole and serene.’
loiter with intent
dated Stand or wait around with the intention of committing an offence.
Late Middle English: perhaps from Middle Dutch loteren wag about.
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