Definition of loiter in English:

loiter

verb

  • 1no object , with adverbial of place Stand or wait around idly or without apparent purpose.

    ‘she saw Mary loitering near the cloakrooms’
    • ‘We found that parental males keep track of how many sneaker males they see loitering near their nests during spawning time.’
    • ‘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 said the police often received reports of young people loitering around street corners, but the fact is ‘they have a right to be there’.’
    • ‘You're standing here loitering about in a very suspicious manner.’
    • ‘It turns out Risaku's mere hunch became reality and an assassin stood there, loitering in the doorway.’
    • ‘During this hostile exchange, Nageku loitered near the buffet table and helped himself to some wine.’
    • ‘I engaged in mundane chit-chat and constantly asked dumb questions to just about anyone who happened to be loitering in the vicinity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This was a place for lost souls to loiter, waiting for a judgment never to come.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Outside my window I could see Neil, my former team leader, loitering near the car park entrance.’
    • ‘Be aware of youths loitering near vehicles or at traffic lights’
    • ‘I hold that one can loiter without being stationary.’
    • ‘Her eyes strayed to a biker loitering near his glitzy ride, all chrome and shiny metallic exhaust pipes.’
    • ‘Egg-laying hens loiter near their hen house and sometimes into the flowerbed.’
    • ‘The thin man who had been loitering near the doorway slipped up to Umberto.’
    • ‘He was a generally despicable character, always loitering near his betters like a poisonous cloud, seeking only to advance his own pathetic powers.’
    • ‘Nel had also been seen loitering near her home almost daily, standing there while watching her house.’
    linger, potter, wait, skulk
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Travel indolently and with frequent pauses.
      ‘they loitered along in the sunshine, stopping at the least excuse’
      • ‘Alabaster couples loitered along the garden path, handsome, whole and serene.’
      dawdle, dally, stroll, saunter, loll, go slowly, take one's time, go at a snail's pace, move at a snail's pace, drag one's feet, delay
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps from Middle Dutch loteren ‘wag about’.

Pronunciation

loiter

/ˈloidər//ˈlɔɪdər/