from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To stand idly about; linger without any purpose.
  • intransitive verb Law To violate a law or ordinance that prohibits persons from remaining in a given location without a clear purpose for an extended period of time, especially when behaving in a manner indicating a possible threat to persons or property in the vicinity.
  • intransitive verb To hover over or remain near an area.
  • intransitive verb To proceed slowly or with many stops.
  • intransitive verb To act slowly or with leisure; take one's time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To linger; be unduly slow in moving; delay; be dilatory; spend time idly.
  • Synonyms To lag, tarry, saunter, dilly-dally.
  • To consume or waste, as time, idly or carelessly: used with away: as, he loitered away most of his leisure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To be slow in moving; to delay; to linger; to be dilatory; to spend time idly; to saunter; to lag behind.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To wander as an idle vagrant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.

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

  • verb be about


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

[Middle English loitren, probably from Middle Dutch loteren, to totter, be loose.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English loitren, from Middle Dutch loteren ("to shake, wag, wobble"), ultimately connected with a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *lūtanan (“to bend, stoop, cower, shrink from, decline”), see lout. Cognate with Modern Dutch leuteren ("to dawdle"), Swiss German lottern ("to wobble"), German Lotterbube ("rascal"). More at lout, little.


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