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

  • intransitive v. To take more time than necessary: dawdled through breakfast.
  • intransitive v. To move aimlessly or lackadaisically: dawdling on the way to work.
  • transitive v. To waste (time) by idling: dawdling the hours away.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To spend time idly and unfruitfully, to waste time.
  • v. To spend (time) without haste or purpose.
  • v. To move or walk lackadaisically.
  • n. A dawdler.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To waste time in trifling employment; to trifle; to saunter.
  • transitive v. To waste by trifling.
  • n. A dawdler.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To idle; waste time; trifle; loiter.
  • To waste by trifling: with away: as, to dawdle away a whole forenoon.
  • n. A trifler; a dawdler.

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

  • v. hang (back) or fall (behind) in movement, progress, development, etc.
  • v. waste time
  • v. take one's time; proceed slowly


Perhaps alteration of dialectal daddle, to diddle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. First attested around 1656; variant of daddle ("to walk unsteadily"), perhaps influenced by daw, since the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until around 1775. (Wiktionary)



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