Definitions

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

  • intransitive v. To waste time; trifle.
  • intransitive v. To talk nonsense.
  • n. Nonsense; foolishness.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To waste time; to trifle.
  • v. To talk nonsense.
  • n. nonsense; foolishness.

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

  • v. act foolishly, as by talking nonsense
  • v. be about

Etymologies

Probably variant of footer, to screw around, from obsolete fouter, an act of sexual intercourse, from French foutre, to have sexual intercourse, from Latin futuere; see bhau- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably variant of footer, to screw around, from obsolete fouter, an act of sexual intercourse, from French foutre, to have sexual intercourse, from Latin futuere (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "footle," in the business of advertising he developed a curious literary twist.

    Hocken and Hunken

  • This is not a major refit, just an up-gun of GURPS Horror, 3rd Ed. to the GURPS 4E rules, but I have been granted 16 or so more pages to footle around in.

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • 'If you sit down and listen in any moderately lucid state of mind the impression you have is of an old man muttering and ranting on in the aural foreground, while some young lads, engaged on some completely unrelated project, footle around with the controls on a mixing desk in the next room'

    FallNet - the punk foot of nose

  • Permission to footle in the lab. on half-holidays, and all the rest of it?

    Acton's Feud A Public School Story

  • "I suppose you'll just footle, then," his friend had summed it up, and left him, because it was half-past six, and they had dinner at that strange hour.

    The Lee Shore

  • (I'm calling it footle, Ponderevo, out of praise, "he said in parenthesis.)" Think of the little clerks and jaded women and overworked people.

    Tono Bungay

  • I can't stand his 'Theatre' -- that's footle -- but the big things -- 'Le Pere Goriot,' 'La Cousine Bette,'

    The Fortunate Youth

  • For the last fourteen years the bulk of policy debate has been not about how we address the organic issues facing an economy and society like that of the UK, but how we footle around at the edges of it, creating projects that may, tangentially, affect someone somewhere, but in all probability not.

    Arts & Ecology blog

  • Not only that, but the sort of things he would say in his sleep would be things like, "The opening up of trade routes to the mumble mumble burble was the turning point for the growth of empire in the snore footle mumble.

    Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

  • I've heard that footle before, "said Cotton, with his heavy selfishness.

    Acton's Feud A Public School Story

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