One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A habitually lazy person.
loafer, layabout, good-for-nothing, ne'er-do-well, do-nothing, lounger, shirker, sluggard, slugabed, slug, laggard, malingererView synonyms
- ‘Hikers as well as idlers are particularly blessed, with sublime day-walks and longer trails soaring into the White Mountains.’
- ‘There were legions of zombie idlers in the malls, the dead and gutted malls with high vacancy rates that wouldn't be resolved anytime soon.’
- ‘These lazy bastards owe me the next quarter's rent, but they can't pay, and I've no use for idlers!’
- ‘He is a worthless idler and possesses a certain rough eloquence of expression.’
- ‘The idlers were those without the self-discipline to hold a regular job, and others who have never really sought employment.’
- ‘If you idlers must know, I woke up at dawn, began my five-mile run, followed by the usual regiment of calisthenics…’
- ‘This mistress is an unemployed idler who does not have a construction company and has never had anything to do with construction.’
- ‘He may be, on the one hand, a cross-roads idler striving to get into the State Legislature.’
- ‘Idle diners and dining idlers were amused and soothed.’
- ‘He loves the pleasures of old Paris and could be content to be like any other Euro idler, but events beckon his conscience to undertake a mission in counterespionage.’
- ‘As a result, British films and TV programmes are littered with images of the archetypal work-shy idler.’
- ‘First, the British idler has a more formidable work culture to contend with.’
- ‘For the true idler, skiving is a bit of a cop-out: it does not represent a true revolt against work and jobs.’
- ‘They then remove the track, track chains, sprocket, idler, and rollers.’
- ‘To quote that great idler Jerome K Jerome, laziness is a subject on which I consider myself to be extremely au fait.’
- ‘They can try to gussy it up all they want, but baseball remains essentially an idler's game, a backwater swimming hole where obsessives and slackers - and obsessive slackers - can hide out from the real world and float for a few hours at a time.’
- ‘Jobless idlers are easy targets for guerrilla leaders who want to add to their numbers.’
- ‘Soon idlers like you will become the fossils of our past.’
- ‘Hodgkinson would be happy to know that over the years, I have become a bit of an idler.’
- ‘They are the heirs to an enormous soap fortune and are easily the worst idlers I have ever laid eyes upon.’
- ‘They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean.’
- 1.1 A person who is doing nothing in particular, typically while waiting for something.
2A pulley that transmits no power but guides or tensions a belt or rope.
- ‘Someone might have oiled the rollers and idler pulley with too much oil or have gotten oil in some place it is not supposed to be.’
- ‘Once released, the logs crashed down, bouncing on the impact idlers before the belt shot them forward into the drum, and then I engaged the drive shaft.’
- ‘The service rep had a look at it and said that it wasn't the water pump, but an idler pulley (just there to keep the belt running the right way), meaning that the repair would be even cheaper.’
- 2.1 An idle wheel.
- ‘The large drive sprocket is clearly visible to the front of the first road wheel and the idler wheel is at the back.’
- ‘Each side of the suspension system comprises six roadwheels with a front drive sprocket and a rear idler but no track return roller.’
- ‘The undercarriage supports the house structure and includes the tracks, drive sprockets, rollers, and idlers.’
- ‘Check the bushing, idler, and driver wheel on the seed carrier.’
- ‘The drive sprocket is at the rear and the idler at the front, and there are no track return rollers.’
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