What is another word for idle?

Synonyms for idle
ˈaɪd lidle

This thesaurus page includes all potential synonyms, words with the same meaning and similar terms for the word idle.

English Synonyms and Antonyms2.0 / 1 vote

  1. idle

    Idle in all uses rests upon its root meaning, as derived from the Anglo-Saxon idel, which signifies vain, empty, useless. Idle thus denotes not primarily the absence of action, but vain action — the absence of useful, effective action; the idle schoolboy may be very actively whittling his desk or tormenting his neighbors. Doing nothing whatever is the secondary meaning of idle. One may be temporarily idle of necessity; if he is habitually idle, it is his own fault. Lazy signifies indisposed to exertion, averse to labor; idleness is in fact; laziness is in disposition or inclination. A lazy person may chance to be employed in useful work, but he acts without energy or impetus. We speak figuratively of a lazy stream. The inert person seems like dead matter (characterized by inertia), powerless to move; the sluggish moves heavily and toilsomely; the most active person may sometimes find the bodily or mental powers sluggish. Slothful belongs in the moral realm, denoting a self-indulgent aversion to exertion. "The slothful hideth his hand in his bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth," Prov. xxvi, 15. Indolent is a milder term for the same quality; the slothful man hates action; the indolent man loves inaction. Compare VAIN.

    inactive, indolent, inert, lazy, slothful, sluggish, trifling, unemployed, unoccupied, vacant

    active, busy, diligent, employed, industrious, occupied, working

Complete Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms0.0 / 0 votes

  1. idle

    void, unoccupied, waste, vain, empty, unemployed, useless, inactive, lazy, indolent

    tilled, occupied, populated, filled, employed, assiduous, industrious

Princeton's WordNet1.0 / 1 vote

  1. idleadjective

    the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling

    "the car engine was running at idle"

    overbusy, toiling, busy, profitable, responsible, at work(p), laboring, occupied, up to, labouring, drudging, active, engaged, supported, tied up(p), serious, employed, run, work

  2. idleadjective

    not in action or at work

    "an idle laborer"; "idle drifters"; "the idle rich"; "an idle mind"

    groundless, loose, baseless, jobless, out of work, wild, light, dead, unused, unwarranted, unfounded

    occupied, overbusy, busy, up to, engaged, drudging, tied up(p), serious, employed, toiling, profitable, laboring, active, at work(p), labouring, supported, responsible, work, run

  3. baseless, groundless, idle, unfounded, unwarranted, wildadjective

    without a basis in reason or fact

    "baseless gossip"; "the allegations proved groundless"; "idle fears"; "unfounded suspicions"; "unwarranted jealousy"

    insupportable, jobless, gaga, raging, violent, untamed, unfounded, unwarrantable, dead, out of work, hazardous, tempestuous, undue, indefensible, godforsaken, dotty, unjustified, uncivilised, uncivilized, waste, baseless, risky, angry, wild, savage, fantastic, barbarian, unjustifiable, crazy, raving mad, unused, groundless, barbaric, furious, light, unwarranted, loose

    overbusy, occupied, busy, engaged, responsible, employed, active, laboring, labouring, serious, drudging, profitable, supported, tied up(p), at work(p), up to, toiling, run, work

  4. idle, unusedadjective

    not in active use

    "the machinery sat idle during the strike"; "idle hands"

    groundless, loose, baseless, jobless, out of work, wild, light, dead, unused, unwarranted, fresh, unfounded

    up to, labouring, serious, laboring, toiling, active, at work(p), overbusy, occupied, busy, responsible, profitable, drudging, employed, engaged, supported, tied up(p), run, work

  5. idle, lightadjective

    silly or trivial

    "idle pleasure"; "light banter"; "light idle chatter"

    light-headed, lite, wanton, unfounded, jobless, wakeful, faint, lightheaded, low-cal, calorie-free, lightsome, dead, out of work, light-colored, unaccented, weak, easy, promiscuous, abstemious, unclouded, clean, light(a), baseless, clear, wild, tripping, short, scant(p), unused, groundless, sluttish, light, swooning, unwarranted, loose

    profitable, employed, drudging, laboring, supported, tied up(p), serious, labouring, active, up to, busy, overbusy, at work(p), occupied, toiling, engaged, responsible, work, run

  6. idle, looseadjective

    lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility

    "idle talk"; "a loose tongue"

    wanton, escaped, wild, sluttish, informal, dead, on the loose(p), out of work, easy, unused, liberal, free, jobless, open, lax, loose, unaffixed, groundless, promiscuous, light, slack, unfounded, baseless, at large(p), unwarranted

    laboring, responsible, active, tied up(p), drudging, profitable, serious, busy, at work(p), occupied, up to, engaged, overbusy, toiling, employed, supported, labouring, work, run

  7. dead, idleadjective

    not yielding a return

    "dead capital"; "idle funds"

    dead(a), wild, bushed(p), dead, out of work, unused, jobless, light, deadened, drained, loose, groundless, utter, beat(p), numb(p), dead(p), unfounded, baseless, stagnant, all in(p), unwarranted

    responsible, employed, at work(p), drudging, labouring, up to, serious, tied up(p), toiling, busy, overbusy, active, profitable, laboring, supported, engaged, occupied, run, work

  8. idle, jobless, out of workverb

    not having a job

    "idle carpenters"; "jobless transients"; "many people in the area were out of work"

    groundless, loose, baseless, jobless, out of work, wild, light, dead, unused, unwarranted, unfounded

    profitable, engaged, tied up(p), active, toiling, drudging, labouring, overbusy, responsible, at work(p), supported, serious, occupied, employed, busy, laboring, up to, run, work

  9. idle, tick oververb

    run disconnected or idle

    "the engine is idling"

    tick over, slug, laze, stagnate

    busy, supported, at work(p), drudging, responsible, toiling, overbusy, employed, laboring, active, serious, tied up(p), labouring, engaged, occupied, up to, profitable, work, run

  10. idle, laze, slug, stagnateverb

    be idle; exist in a changeless situation

    "The old man sat and stagnated on his porch"; "He slugged in bed all morning"

    swig, tick over, slug, laze, stagnate, slog

    occupied, overbusy, toiling, engaged, at work(p), up to, labouring, profitable, drudging, tied up(p), laboring, employed, responsible, active, serious, busy, supported, run, work

Dictionary of English Synonymes0.0 / 0 votes

  1. idleadjective

    unemployed, unoccupied, unbusied, inactive

  2. idleadjective

    indolent, lazy, slothful, sluggish, inert

  3. idleadjective

    vacant, unused

  4. idleadjective

    useless, ineffectual, bootless, fruitless, unavailing, vain, futile, abortive

  5. idleadjective

    trifling, trivial, unimportant, trashy, foolish, unprofitable

Synonyms, Antonyms & Associated Words0.0 / 0 votes

  1. idleadjective

    leisure, vain, unavailing, futile, ineffectual, indolent, slothful, inactive, lazy, otiose

Suggested Resources

  1. idle

    Song lyrics by idle -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by idle on the Lyrics.com website.

  2. IDLE

    What does IDLE stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the IDLE acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

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How to use idle in a sentence?

  1. Buddha:

    To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.

  2. President Mahmoud Abbas:

    What happened is a crime by all means, we cannot sit idle and silent (after) this crime, for that, this leadership is meeting now to decide what it wants, and I say honestly all options are open for discussion and for implementation. ... We don't have any other solutions.

  3. Timothy Finch:

    ( There's) no economic growth, nowhere to work. Nowhere. A young person can only work at a fast-food restaurant, if I can't work, what am I going to do ? I sit at home all day. Idle time makes an idle mind.

  4. Jim Manley:

    Everybody jokes about Reid and his nasty habit of hanging up the phone as soon as he's done with his end of the conversation, but the president's not much better, there's not a lot of idle chitchat.

  5. Herbjorn Hansson:

    We see a clear increase in demand, especially from the East, and the oil is also carried over longer distances. There are very few idle ships out there now and the market is much tighter.

Translations for idle

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • عاطل عن العملArabic
  • незаетBulgarian
  • desocupat, inactiu, aturatCatalan, Valencian
  • zahálet, nepotřebný, mrhat, volný, líný, neužitečný, nečinnýCzech
  • überflüssig, nutzlos, müßig, untätigGerman
  • άνεργος, οκνηρός, ανώφελος, αδρανής, άχρηστοςGreek
  • ocioso, flojear, desocupado, vagabundoSpanish
  • بیهودهPersian
  • laiska, toimeton, maleksia, joutilas, joutava, [[olla]] [[joutokäynnillä]], olla vapaallaFinnish
  • inutile, négligeable, fainéanter, fainéant, inactif, oisifFrench
  • caithScottish Gaelic
  • אבטלהHebrew
  • henyél, tétlenHungarian
  • girare al minimo, infingardo, vano, sciupare nell'ozio, pigro, oziare, in folle, girare a vuoto, ozioso, sprecare tempo, indolente, disoccupato, inattivo, inutile, perdere tempoItalian
  • Japanese
  • 게으른Korean
  • ōtiōsusLatin
  • nietsdoend, inactief, nutteloos, ijdelDutch
  • tomgangNorwegian
  • leniwyPolish
  • inapropriado, vagabundo, preguiçoso, ocioso, imprestável, desocupado, vazio, perder tempo, vão, desempregado, inútilPortuguese
  • незанятыйRussian
  • overksam, gå på tomgångSwedish
  • zembeaSwahili
  • boş, atılTurkish

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"idle." Synonyms.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Sep. 2023. <https://www.synonyms.com/synonym/idle>.

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