Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To feign illness or other incapacity in order to avoid duty or work.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To feign illness, injury, or incapacitation in order to avoid work or obligation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To act the part of a malingerer; to feign illness or inability.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To feign illness; sham sickness in order to avoid duty; counterfeit disease.

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

  • v. avoid responsibilities and duties, e.g., by pretending to be ill

Etymologies

From French malingre, sickly.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French malingrer, from adjective malingre. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "malinger" with such intensity of purpose, that I feared lest he would kill himself to spite us.

    The Land of Midian — Volume 1

  • But, within limits, they may loaf and malinger, and, as scabs, are exceeded by the machine, which never loafs or malingers, and which is the ideally perfect scab.

    THE SCAB

  • To shirk or malinger on the man who paid me my wages was a sin, first, against myself, and second, against him.

    HOW I BECAME A SOCIALIST

  • I am not referring to those few who intentionally malinger, rather to the many for whom the benefits of a check, free time and no responsibility is distorting and poisoning that individual and also society.

    Disability Benefits Foster Disability

  • However, I do not wish to malinger here with my heavy baggage of complaint when I have in fact accepted the fate of my trade, and have supplemented my own joy by peddling texts to keep solvent.

    Excerpt from Codex Infinitum

  • I'm trapped in my room mentally and physically, no dilly dallying about beaches to swim and wonderful pastries to be eaten, and the words are flowing and it feels great, as such I'll not malinger long here.

    Writing Under Yellow Skies

  • I favor a draft, if only to get my slacker malinger children out of my home (whether to Canada or into the Navy in order to avoid Iraq).

    Matthew Yglesias » Serve the Servants

  • After all, a pissed off worker is more likely to make mistakes, malinger, or just leave.

    THE CHANGING WORKPLACE: CARING FOR FEMALE WORKERS » Sociological Images

  • I've harped on this subject before, but it's a disgrace to the major record labels to malinger around with decade-old, if not older, Ring recordings when "minor" labels are attacking what must be the most daunting project imaginable.

    A Rheingold

  • I wonder if this is one of those exhaustions that will magically disappear as soon as the children are spirited away by their father, or if it will malinger throughout the evening, leaving me here alone on a Friday night feeling dorky AND somewhat ill.

    Dru Blood - I believe in the inherent goodness of all beings: October 2005 Archives

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