Synonyms of idle in English:

idle


See definition of idle

adjective

1‘an idle fellow’

SYNONYMS

lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, loafing, inactive, inert, sluggish, lethargic, languorous, listless, torpid

remiss, negligent, slack, lax, lackadaisical, impassive, good-for-nothing, do-nothing

leisurely

informal bone idle

archaic fainéant

rare otiose

ANTONYMS

industrious

2‘‘I was getting bored with being idle,’ she told her new employer’

SYNONYMS

unemployed, jobless, out of work, out of a job, redundant, between jobs, workless, unwaged, unoccupied

British informal on the dole, signing on

British euphemistic resting

NZ Australian informal on the wallaby track

ANTONYMS

employed

3‘instead of leaving the machine idle, I sold it’

SYNONYMS

not in use, out of use, not operating, not working, inactive, out of action, inoperative, non-functioning, out of service, unused, unoccupied, unemployed

disused, no longer in use, fallen into disuse, mothballed

ANTONYMS

working

4‘they filled their idle hours with endless gossiping sessions’

SYNONYMS

unoccupied, spare, empty, vacant, unfilled, available

ANTONYMS

busy, full

5‘he didn't indulge in idle remarks or mere social chit-chat’

SYNONYMS

frivolous, trivial, trifling, minor, petty, foolish, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, valueless, pointless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, without depth, inane, fatuous, senseless, meaningless, purposeless, unnecessary, time-wasting

ANTONYMS

serious, meaningful

6‘she was not a woman to make idle threats’

SYNONYMS

empty, meaningless, aimless, pointless, worthless, useless, vain, in vain, insubstantial, futile, ineffective, ineffectual

groundless, without grounds, baseless, lacking foundation, without foundation

ANTONYMS

serious


verb

1‘Lily idled on the window seat: she hated Sundays’

SYNONYMS

do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, sit back, take it easy, rest on one's oars, mark time, kick one's heels, twiddle one's thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, laze about, laze around, lounge, lounge about, lounge around, loll, loll about, loll around, loaf, loaf about, loaf around, slouch, slouch about, slouch around

go to seed, degenerate, moulder, stagnate

informal hang around, veg out

British informal hang about, mooch about, mooch around, slummock

North American informal bum around, bat about, bat around, lollygag, lay on one's oars

2‘the men idled their time away on street corners’

SYNONYMS

fritter, while, laze, loiter

pass, spend, use, employ, use up, occupy, take up, fill up, fill in, fill, beguile, expend, devote, waste, dissipate, kill

3‘Robert idled along the pavement’

SYNONYMS

saunter, stroll, dawdle, drift, potter, amble, go slowly, walk slowly, loiter, maunder, wander, straggle

informal mosey, tootle

British informal pootle, mooch, swan

North American informal putter

4‘he slowed the car at a junction, letting the engine idle’

SYNONYMS

tick over, run slowly in neutral