Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state of being idle; inactivity.
  • n. The state of being indolent; indolence
  • n. Groundlessness; worthlessness; triviality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The condition or quality of being idle (in the various senses of that word); uselessness; fruitlessness; triviality; inactivity; laziness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The condition of being idle, in any sense of that word; inactivity; slothfulness; uselessness; unprofitableness; worthlessness; foolishness.
  • n. Synonyms See idle.

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

  • n. the quality of lacking substance or value
  • n. the trait of being idle out of a reluctance to work
  • n. having no employment

Etymologies

idle +‎ -ness (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They may produce what they call idleness now, and a great deal of vexation and suffering.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • There we all clambered out to stretch cramped muscles and make a fire to cook the hippo's tongue, Coutlass cursing us for letting what he called idleness come between us and revenge.

    The Ivory Trail

  • There is a grossness in the conceptions of my countrymen; they will not be convinced that any good thing may consist with what they call idleness; they can anticipate nothing but evil of a young man who neither studies physic, law, nor gospel, nor opens a store, nor takes to farming, but manifests an incomprehensible disposition to be satisfied with what his father left him.

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • In other words, no individual should be wasted in idleness if they wish to be employed into the safety net program.

    Pavlina R. Tcherneva: Women Want Jobs, Not Handouts

  • In a 3-page essay titled In Praise of Idleness, Karel Čapek described idleness as follows: (1) "idleness is not wasting time"; (2) "idleness is not the mother of wickedness"; (3) "idleness is not laziness".

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • While this technology matures for our civilized electified nations, imagine 3rd world environments where idleness is plentiful and physical exertion is common but, electricity is far out of reach.

    GRAVIA: Gravity Based Kinetic Energy Lamp | Inhabitat

  • Therefore Montaigne concluded that idleness is bad because “when the soul is without definite aim she gets lost; for, as they say, if you are everywhere you are nowhere.”

    More Montaigne Hodge-Podge Goodness « So Many Books

  • By means of it they have built up a vested interest in idleness which last year, despite the fact that almost all the economic indices stood high above the normal level represented by 1926, cost the various governments of the Dominion far in excess of $50,000,000.

    The Handwriting On Parliament's Wall

  • Now, it is morally wrong to keep people long periods in idleness and what is morally wrong cannot be economically right or politically sound.

    Population Problems

  • You people are taxpayers, it is costing a lot of money to keep us in idleness and watch us disintegrate and slowly fade away.

    A Plea for the Canadian Northland

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