dilly-dally

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v dilly-dally postpone doing what one should be doing "He did not want to write the letter and procrastinated for days"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i dilly-dally To loiter or trifle; to waste time.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • dilly-dally To loiter; delay; trifle.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Dilly-dally dil′i-dal′i to loiter, trifle.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
See Dally
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A kind of reduplication of dally. Cf. Shilly-shally.

Usage

In literature:

There is no time to dilly-dally in our work.
"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson
There was no dilly-dallying.
"In the Pecos Country" by Edward Sylvester Ellis (AKA Lieutenant R.H. Jayne)
I've wasted nearly three hours here now, dilly-dallying along.
"The Spenders" by Harry Leon Wilson
This is no day for dilly-dallying and quibbling about 'State rights.
"Continental Monthly, Vol. I, No. V, May, 1862" by Various
West keeps his patients dilly-dallying on, when he might have them well in no time.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
He was thoroughly weary of Gilbert's dilly-dallying, so foreign to his own philosophy.
"The Bad Man" by Charles Hanson Towne
I've no patience with that sort of dilly-dallying.
"The Simpkins Plot" by George A. Birmingham
I'm for none of your dilly-dally ways.
"Stories of Comedy" by Various
He had a purpose in everything he did; there was no dilly-dallying nor shilly-shallying; he knew what he wanted to say, and said it.
"How to Succeed" by Orison Swett Marden
Some foolish fish always dilly-dally up-stream till the ice shuts them in.
"The Story of the Trapper" by A. C. Laut
After some dilly-dallying we were admitted to the presence of a military-looking fellow whose name I can not recall.
"The Boy Spy" by Joseph Kerby
Is it only one's own side that must beware of a policy of dilly-dally?
"London Days" by Arthur Warren
Uncle says he's going express hereafter; he says no more dilly-dally voyages for him.
"Seeing France with Uncle John" by Anne Warner
He sed it was jest this dilly-dally policy that had ruined us.
"Letters of Major Jack Downing, of the Downingville Militia" by Seba Smith
He gives one bark, and then he don't dilly-dally none.
"Susan Clegg and Her Love Affairs" by Anne Warner
We have had enough dilly-dallying!
"The Executioner's Knife" by Eugène Sue
It should go to work and build, right now and without any dilly-dallying or delay, the Calaveras Reservoir.
"Our National Defense:" by George Hebard Maxwell
But while she dilly-dallied, the train was off.
"The Chase of the Ruby" by Richard Marsh
Why does the minx dilly-dally so?
"The Watcher" by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
But it's no use dilly-dallying, and Shultz may as well understand it.
"The New Boys at Oakdale" by Morgan Scott
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In poetry:

But G. Adolfus Nit was lazy;
He dilly-dallied every day;
His life was dreamy, slow and hazy,
And indolent in every way.
"Little Ballads Of Timely Warning; III:" by Ellis Parker Butler
A lazy and careless boy was Jack,--
He would not work, and he would not play;
And so poor, that the jacket on his back
Hung in a ragged fringe alway;
But 'twas shilly-shally, dilly-dally,
From day to day.
"Jack And The Bean-Stalk" by Clara Doty Bates
And the Giant howled, and gnashed his teeth.
Jack got down first, and, in a flash,
Cut the ladder from underneath;
And Giant and Bean-stalk, in one dash,--
No shilly-shally, no dilly-dally,--
Fell with a crash.
"Jack And The Bean-Stalk" by Clara Doty Bates

In news:

The Minnesota Vikings brought in a big gun - the NFL commissioner - last week and it seemed to rouse a dilly-dally legislature to get moving again on a new stadium bill.
ClearVision Introduces Dilli Dalli Children's Eyewear.
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y.—ClearVision Optical has introduced a new private label brand of frames for infants and toddlers, 3 months to 3 years, named Dilli Dalli Eyewear.
ClearVision Optical expands its children's offerings with the launch of Dilli Dalli, a six-piece collection of pediatric eyewear designed specifically for infants and toddlers ages 3 months to 3 years.
And even the promised reunion of the two survivor groups (I keep wanting to call them tribes) did not happen until the final minutes, after a lot of dilly-dallying and flashbacks to determine what Ana Lucia would do to Sayid.
When you go outside to paint, you don't have time to dilly-dally or overthink th...
This video has everything, if everything is white people trying dance, rap about using protection and how cool it is to be a virgin in 1993 and calling sex the "dilly dally".
While federal government dilly-dallies on Keystone pipeline, state governments effectively address it.
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