Definition of loafer in US English:



  • 1A person who idles time away.

    • ‘So he thinks that it's about time you loafers got yourself a job.’
    • ‘But if we agree that hacks and loafers resort to lies because they don't know how else to make great journalism, what can we say about reporters from the Pantheon who marbled their journalism with fiction?’
    • ‘All the Quality People can do is keep pushing 'em north and eventually it'll be Castle Downs' problem, and those loafers have had a free ride of it ever since their lots were nothing but mink ranch and army landfill.’
    • ‘Fashionistas, loafers and creative-looking sorts cram the graffiti-garnished cafes on Kastanienallee, their confidence in their own hipness rising like steam from a miso soup.’
    • ‘Among these were a couple of cyclists, a jobbing gardener I employed sometimes, a girl carrying a baby, Gregg the butcher and his little boy, and two or three loafers and golf caddies who were accustomed to hang about the railway station.’
    • ‘When a private citizen is robbed a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.’
    • ‘The occupants are not commuters, but people belonging to a category lying somewhere between loafers and busybodies.’
    • ‘Those loafers went on to tame the wild buffalo that made the Rocky Mountains.’
    • ‘But he also has the whiners, loafers, jonesers, and all of the no-good lazy bums, male and female, without a work ethic opposing his every move.’
    • ‘I was standing by the paddock surveying the latest in a line of equine flatterers and good-for-nothing loafers in which I was about to invest.’
    • ‘The sophisticated loafer always finds an excuse to avoid work.’
    • ‘He had no use for cheaters or braggers or loafers.’
    • ‘With many of its 45 miles of trails lift-accessed, Mount Snow courts hikers, mountain bikers, and loafers.’
    idler, layabout, good-for-nothing, ne'er-do-well, do-nothing, lounger, shirker, sluggard, slug, laggard, slugabed, malingerer
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  • 2A leather shoe shaped like a moccasin, with a low flat heel.

    • ‘From wearing trendy running shoes and funky loafers, to achieving the no-sock look, all your fashion needs are right here.’
    • ‘For one staffer, this consisted of a T-shirt, jeans and loafers.’
    • ‘Blue jeans are versatile and comfortable, and can easily be combined with dressier shoes, sneakers, sandals, or loafers to make for a great sporty look.’
    • ‘I follow his footsteps, thrusting my codpiece towards maidens and wenches alike, my tasselled loafers pounding the aged cobblestones, my tights itching my thighs.’
    • ‘Do I need to buy those patent leather loafers or a pair of velvet bedroom slippers?’
    • ‘If you find that you're on your feet throughout most of the day and want a pair of shoes that can be worn from the office to the local happy hour, your best bet is a pair of brown or black loafers or lace-up shoes, with a rubber sole.’
    • ‘The customer, a middle-aged woman in jeans, blazer, conservative loafers, slunk away apologetically.’
    • ‘Both loafers and boat shoes are classic styles and have been on the men's fashion landscape forever, but in all honesty, neither of them is actually trendy - at least not this season.’
    • ‘I've decided on an informal dress code but, over time, I would like members to sport Italian loafers, the kind some people love writing about.’
    • ‘This mode of dress should include a brown loafer or other shoe (no wing tips) worn with executive socks.’
    • ‘Tan leather shoes are available as loafers or oxfords, as well as suede or calfskin, just make sure that the color is practical with the rest of your wardrobe.’
    • ‘Dressed down (for him) in jeans, jacket, white shirt, black tie and beige loafers, he seems relaxed and healthy, younger than his 43 years.’
    • ‘There are casual shoes that can pass for dress shoes, with the rubber sole and wedge heel, in both lace shoes and loafers.’
    • ‘Soon we were above ground in a silvery twelve-seater custom van, my seatmate fiddling with a loaded ashtray, fine gray dust sprinkling his shiny black tasseled loafers.’
    • ‘If you prefer loafers or moccasins, you'll also have a chance to prove your fashion sense this summer, but sandals are really where it's at.’
    • ‘There are tons of variations on the high heeled loafer or ankle boot that have superb slightly thicker heels.’
    • ‘You aren't wearing a gold watch or shiny loafers.’
    • ‘You can't wear a black robe with brown loafers, weirdo!’
    • ‘The roofer arrived wearing loafers and fixed all my problems for $75.’
    • ‘Well, I sure hope you didn't get your loafers dirty, and that your precious nose has recovered from the smell of animal poo.’


Mid 19th century: perhaps from German Landläufer ‘tramp’, from Land ‘land’ + laufen (dialect lofen) ‘to run’.