woolgathering

Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of gathering wool: usually applied figuratively to the indulgence of idle fancies or to any foolish or fruitless pursuit.

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

  • noun Indulgence in idle imagination; a foolish or useless pursuit or design.
  • adjective Indulging in a vagrant or idle exercise of the imagination; roaming upon a fruitless quest; idly fanciful.

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

  • noun Gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.
  • noun Indulging in idle fancies or daydreams.

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

  • noun an idle indulgence in fantasy
  • adjective dreamy in mood or nature

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Like woolgathering and other empty pursuits, wistful might-have-beens had no place in my mind.

    lo, a fic. « Love | Peace | Ohana

  • People my age or not too much younger may remember times as a child -- and even later -- when they stared aimlessly at sunlight playing on trees, or lay on their backs looking up at clouds or otherwise engaged in that hopelessly antediluvian activity -- woolgathering.

    Stanton Peele: Solitude: Alone or on the iPhone

  • People my age or not too much younger may remember times as a child -- and even later -- when they stared aimlessly at sunlight playing on trees, or lay on their backs looking up at clouds or otherwise engaged in that hopelessly antediluvian activity -- woolgathering.

    Stanton Peele: Solitude: Alone or on the iPhone

  • Perpetual regret well describes the mood of the speakers in "Great House," and at times their stories recede into sloughs of forlorn woolgathering.

    A Desk and Its Stories

  • People my age or not too much younger may remember times as a child -- and even later -- when they stared aimlessly at sunlight playing on trees, or lay on their backs looking up at clouds or otherwise engaged in that hopelessly antediluvian activity -- woolgathering.

    Stanton Peele: Solitude: Alone or on the iPhone

  • People my age or not too much younger may remember times as a child -- and even later -- when they stared aimlessly at sunlight playing on trees, or lay on their backs looking up at clouds or otherwise engaged in that hopelessly antediluvian activity -- woolgathering.

    Stanton Peele: Solitude: Alone or on the iPhone

  • Idea sessions can easily dissolve into wandering and woolgathering.

    The 10 Commandments Of Brainstorming

  • She snorted, angry at woolgathering, knowing that among the younger ones it would appear as senility.

    The Shattering

  • A gentle buzzing at the base of his skull reminded him that his woolgathering was happening on company time.

    365 tomorrows » 2008 » February : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  •             But my publisher was a benighted occupant of that quotidian realm where these things have been forgotten; all he and anyone else cares about these days isrelevantfacts, not the useless trivia I had accumulated over a lifetime of woolgathering.

    My Fictional Tormenter

Comments

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  • I love that this word we use synonymously for "lollygagging" comes from the actual practice of picking tufts of wool off of bushes where wandering sheep left them. I imagine if tasked with that job, one might do quite a bit of mental woolgathering as well. Cool word, cool history!

    February 13, 2007

  • "He chivalrously covered my position as well as his own, so my woolgathering was only interrupted when it was my turn to serve; my team ducked warily out of the way everytime I as up"- Twilight, Stephanie Meyer, pg.51

    October 27, 2010