idle - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “idle”

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idle

adjective uk   us   /ˈaɪ.dl̩/

idle adjective (NOT WORKING)

C1 not working or being used: Half these factories now stand idle. It's crazy to have £7,000 sitting idle in the bank. An idle moment or period of time is one in which there is no work or activity: If you have an idle moment, call me. without work: Almost half of the workforce are now idle.
Synonym

idle adjective (NO PURPOSE)

C2 [before noun] without any particular purpose: idle chatter/gossip/speculation an idle glance This is no idle threat.

idle adjective (LAZY)

C2 UK lazy and not willing to work: He's a very able student, he's just bone idle (= very lazy).
idleness
noun [U] uk   us   /-nəs/

idle

verb [I] uk   us   /ˈaɪ.dl̩/ (UK also tick over)
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.
Phrasal verbs
(Definition of idle from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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