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

  • adj. Offering no initiative for change, especially in politics.
  • n. An idle or lazy person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lazy person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Doing nothing; disinclined to work or exertion; inactive; idle; lazy; -- of people.
  • n. person who does no work.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who does nothing; an idler.
  • Doing no work; idle; indolent; inactive.

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

  • n. person who does no work
  • adj. characterized by inability or unwillingness to work toward a goal or assume responsibility


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Already on Thursday morning, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley went on the offensive against what he described as a do-nothing climate on Capitol Hill.

    Reuters: Press Release

  • Obama than has more campaign ammo to attack what he calls the "do-nothing Congress."

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Republicans are doubling down on a legislative agenda that resembles last year's efforts to shrink the size and scope of government, and Obama is prepared to exploit a lack of legislative accomplishments as he runs against a so-called "do-nothing" Congress.

    News -

  • The do-nothing Republicans (and let's not forget Sara Palin) are doing a good job of fostering fear in the American public over the national healthcare issue.

    Polls: Obama approval rating stands at 51 percent

  • I'm sick of these do-nothing Republicans criticizing instead of coming to the table or offering ideas of their own.

    America 'traumatized' by health-care debate, key Democrat says

  • How carrying loaded firearms, calls of Naziism, shouting over questions _and_ answers make up the do-nothing GOP's response to reform?

    Barney Frank goes toe to toe at health care town hall

  • In the 1952 midterms, which after all came just two years after the 1948 election, in which President Truman had his marvelous upset, railed against the do-nothing Republican Congress, brought Democrats back into power, just two years later in the middle of a really unpopular Korean War, Democrats thrown out again.

    'Vanity Fair' Writer: What Will Speaker Boehner Do?

  • Two years later, voters reacted to a "do-nothing Congress" by tossing out 75 Republicans.

    Revival of Volatility Signals Historic Era in U.S. Politics

  • The fact that the president has apparently triggered the constitutional crisis without really expecting to produce any lasting policy impact, and for no better reason than to bolster his claim of running against a "do-nothing" Congress the key part of his re-election campaign, makes his behavior all the more reprehensible.

    Obama's Reckless Recess Ploy

  • "We need to make it a choice between a do-nothing approach that will ultimately destroy Medicare, and life-saving reforms," said Rep. Tom Cole R., Okla.

    No Retreat on Medicare


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.