Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Informal Lacking importance or significance; trifling: a footling gesture.
  • adj. Informal Stupid; inept.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Trivial; unimportant; useless; silly; inept; irritating.
  • v. Present participle of footle.
  • n. A fetus oriented so that, at birth, its feet will emerge first. A type of breech birth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. small and of little importance.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the foot foremost: applied in obstetrics to cases in which a foot presents.
  • n. A small foot.
  • n. Anything no bigger than one's foot.
  • n. One of the strips of board which run longitudinally on top of the frames in the bottom of a boat.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (informal) small and of little importance

Etymologies

Present participle of footle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
foot +‎ -ling. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • JUNO [huffily] I don't know what you call footling --

    Overruled

  • I would rather we attempt big, serious change and fail, than fiddlearound with footling, meaningless promises, limping through office andclinging to power for the sake of it.

    Yahoo! News: Latest news headlines News Headlines | Top Stories

  • While pacifying those who worry about liberty with a footling commission, composed largely of lawyers from left and right, who cancel each other out, Clarke proposes a vast extension of secrecy in the civil courts and inquests, which will suppress evidence of corruption and negligence in high places, as well as reduce access to justice and the public's right to know.

    Ken Clarke is ready to betray 800 years of British justice | Henry Porter

  • This is really not the time for such games; for footling schemes and yet more fraudulent job creation initiatives involving the spending of money Britain doesn't have.

    What's in Alistair Darling's future?

  • Yet the freedoms which Englishmen have won over nearly eight hundred years have now been sold to a couple of Labour fellow-travellers for their votes so that the UK will now soften its policy towards Cuba and the issue of the all too footling sanctions against Cuba the EU maintains as a fig-leaf.

    Brown's Payola Goverment Dips Into the Pork Barrel

  • This is no mere technical detail of footling importance: it goes to the very heart of the legitimacy of the Parliament which for now claims to have authority in this land and as such this matter will not go away.

    Arrogant Sarkozy Forgets That Government Requires Consent

  • As for the British people and their footling objections to this most wonderful of treaties, why, a pox on them!

    Archive 2008-01-20

  • Hague took her to task on footling, no-brainer issues.

    Turkeys fail to fly

  • On Kelly he flannelled about some footling detail of parliamentary timing.

    In his comfort zone

  • Finally, I leave you with these little gems from one of the earliest of the Euro Nabobery, Charles de Gaulle, who knew a thing or two about when and when not to ask the people for their views, though with his last referendum, a footling thing too, he came a cropper:

    Archive 2007-12-23

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Comments

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  • Well I wasn't thinking about that until you said it!

    January 4, 2009


  • Not to be confused with footlong.
    Go ahead. I dare you not to think of genitalia.

    January 4, 2009