idle

Definitions

  • The Idle Boy
    The Idle Boy
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj idle not in active use "the machinery sat idle during the strike","idle hands"
    • adj idle not in action or at work "an idle laborer","idle drifters","the idle rich","an idle mind"
    • adj idle not having a job "idle carpenters","jobless transients","many people in the area were out of work"
    • adj idle not yielding a return "dead capital","idle funds"
    • adj idle lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility "idle talk","a loose tongue"
    • adj idle silly or trivial "idle pleasure","light banter","light idle chatter"
    • adj idle without a basis in reason or fact "baseless gossip","the allegations proved groundless","idle fears","unfounded suspicions","unwarranted jealousy"
    • v idle run disconnected or idle "the engine is idling"
    • v idle be idle; exist in a changeless situation "The old man sat and stagnated on his porch","He slugged in bed all morning"
    • n idle the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling "the car engine was running at idle"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A car uses 1.6 ounces of gas idling for one minute. Half an ounce is used to start the average automobile.
    • Idle Given rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; slothful; as, an idle fellow.
    • Idle Light-headed; foolish.
    • Idle Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed; as, idle hours. "The idle spear and shield were high uphing."
    • Idle Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing; as, idle workmen. "Why stand ye here all the day idle ?"
    • Idle Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren. "Deserts idle .""Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.""Down their idle weapons dropped.""This idle story became important."
    • v. i Idle To lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.
    • v. t Idle To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume; -- often followed by away; as, to idle away an hour a day.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Cats purr at 26 cycles per second, the same as an idling diesel engine.
    • idle Empty; vacant; not occupied: as, idle hours.
    • idle Not engaged in any occupation or employment; unemployed; inactive; doing nothing.
    • idle In a state of disuse; remaining unused.
    • idle Useless; ineffectual; vain; bootless; unavailing; futile: as, idle rage.
    • idle Of no importance; trivial; irrelevant; flippant; pointless; unprofitable: as, an idle story.
    • idle Acting idly or unconcernedly; careless; indifferent.
    • idle Slothful; given to rest and ease; averse to labor; lazy: as, an idle fellow.
    • idle Wandering in mind; light-headed: an occasional use in old plays.
    • n idle Idleness; indolence.
    • n idle An indolent person.
    • idle To spend or waste time in inaction or without employment.
    • idle To spend in idleness; waste: generally followed by away: as, to idle away time.
    • idle Of machinery, doing no direct work; merely changing the direction of motion: as, an idle gear; also, running merely to carry transmission-elements: as, an idle pulley (which see).
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Idle ī′dl vain: trifling: unemployed: averse to labour: not occupied: useless: unimportant: unedifying
    • v.t Idle to spend in idleness
    • v.i Idle to be idle or unoccupied
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Quotations

  • William Wordsworth
    William%20Wordsworth
    “A day spent in a round of strenuous idleness.”
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph%20Waldo%20Emerson
    “That man is idle who can do something better.”
  • Mahatma Gandhi
    Mahatma%20Gandhi
    “Purity of mind and idleness are incompatible.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    Samuel%20Johnson
    “Perhaps man is the only being that can properly be called idle.”
  • Hannah More
    Hannah%20More
    “Idleness among children, as among men, is the root of all evil, and leads to no other evil more certain than ill temper.”
  • Johann G. Seume
    Johann G. Seume
    “Idleness is the stupidity of the body, and stupidity is the idleness of the mind.”

Idioms

Devil finds work for idle hands - When people say that the devil finds work for idle hands, they mean that if people don't have anything to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved in trouble and criminality.
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Idle hands are the devil's handiwork - When someone is not busy, or being productive, trouble is bound to follow.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. idel, AS. īdel, vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. īdal, D. ijdel, OHG. ītal, vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel, mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. clear, pure, to burn. Cf. Ether

Usage

In literature:

The two were not idle, but in the crucial moment turned the scale.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
But idleness and rest are not incompatible; neither are idleness and service, nor idleness and contentment.
"The Untroubled Mind" by Herbert J. Hall
Again, prayer to those who cannot know what we pray for is idle.
"On Prayer and The Contemplative Life" by St. Thomas Aquinas
THE IDLE 'PRENTICE AT PLAY IN THE CHURCH-YARD DURING DIVINE SERVICE.
"The Works of William Hogarth: In a Series of Engravings" by John Trusler
All this arises from mere idleness.
"The Comedies of Terence" by Publius Terentius Afer
The man is standing idle there.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
The incentives which lead young men to work are as various as the influences which tend to make them idle.
"Julian Home" by Dean Frederic W. Farrar
With an intellect like hers, it would be idle to adopt so shallow an artifice.
"The War Trail" by Mayne Reid
Entreaty, he felt, would be idle, and might waste time and end in his own defeat and death.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
His religion is a bit of idle ritual which is an offence unto God!
"My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year" by John Henry Jowett
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In poetry:

Are you weary of the searching
For the Root of ill,
That you, like an idle urchin,
Play at sitting still ?
"The Patrol And The Gold-Digger" by Adam Lindsay Gordon
The modest mirth that she doth use
Is mix'd with shamefastness;
All vice she doth wholly refuse,
And hateth idleness.
"A Praise of his Lady" by Anonymous British
Not to idle dreams and trances,
Length of face, and solemn tone,
But to Faith, in daily striving
And performance shown.
"To ------," by John Greenleaf Whittier
He will not speak? What friend belies
His love with idle breath?
We read it in each others' eyes,
And ask no more in death.
"Compensations" by Alfred Noyes
No sinful word, nor deed of wrong
Nor thoughts that idly rove,
But simple truth be on our tongue,
And in our hearts be love.
"Now That The Sun Is Gleaming Bright" by Augusta Treverorum
We careless folk the deed forgot;
Till one day, idly walking,
We marked upon the self-same spot
A crowd of veterans talking.
"The Dandelions" by Helen Gray Cone

In news:

0 A t this moment, scores of thousands of Americans are idling in traffic jams, staring at CNN on airport TV screens, Googling swine flu on their iPhones, or waiting in line to buy surgical masks.
The cost for idling will go from $15 to $25 per hour.
Dania Maxwell/Staff Steve Gober continues a tradition at Stan's Idle Hour Restaurant to play the Star-Spangled Banner on Sunday, October 7, 2012 in Goodland, Fla.
Josh Thole 's idle Sunday afternoon in the dugout turned into a scare when a screaming foul ball off the bat of Kris Medlen struck the catcher on the right side of his head.
CARB provides some answers to questions about the state's new Jan 1 anti-idling law.
America's second largest automaker, announced restructuring plans Monday that will cut 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and idle 14 plants by 2012.
The Columbia Star Dinner Train sits idly awaiting its first trip from Columbia to Centralia.
Idle ramblings of a sleep-deprived mind.
Or to sit in an Ecuadorean jungle on the banks of the Napo River idly studying a tarantula the size of one's hand as it seizes moths.
"No hammering while idling" feature helps increase tool life.
Affordable housing construction projects around the country have stalled or never been built, and hundreds of millions of government dollars set aside for them have been lost or sit idle.
The Obama administration announced that it won't allow infrastructure funds to sit idle as a result of stalled earmark projects.
More than $9 million Congress earmarked for Big Apple transit work was never spent, and now the city could lose it in an election-year bid to let states spend idle funds.
After years of fairly scandalous mismanagement the Van Dyck sat idle.
And for 2006-and-newer applications the VVB kit offers a warm-up feature that will close the vanes at idle until engine temperature reaches a pre-set level.
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In science:

Then kgk ,l ◦ fl,j − idk ,j k ≤ max(kgk ,l ◦ fl,j − fl,j k, kfl,j − idl,j k).
Line antiderivations over local fields and their applications
C maxl,j kfl,j − idl,j k, C = const > 0 is independent of f (see the proof of Theorem 2.6 ), consequently, Dif P (q ,n)(M ) and Dif S (q+1,n−1)(M ) are topological groups.
Line antiderivations over local fields and their applications
We averaged the results and fit a linear model to them using a least squares fitting routine in IDL called LINFIT.
Using Notch-Filter Masks for High Contrast Imaging of Extrasolar Planets
Idle nodes will have a relatively large in-degree while overloaded nodes will have a small in-degree.
Balanced Overlay Networks (BON): Decentralized Load Balancing via Self-Organized Random Networks
It allows the reduction of the idle time between the beginning and the end of computation operations.
EPspectra: A Formal Toolkit for Developing DSP Software Applications
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