Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “idle”

idle

verb
 
 
/ˈaɪdl/
ENGINE [I] If an engine or machine idles, it runs slowly but does not move or do any work: He left the engine idling and ran into the shop.FunctioningPerforming a function
STOP WORKING [T] US to stop someone or something working or being used, often because there is not enough work to do: The closure of the factory idled about 300 workers.Passive and not working
TIME [I] to spend time doing nothing: We saw her idling in the school grounds.Passive and not working
(Definition of idle verb from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “idle” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

for starters

used to say that something is the first in a list of things

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More