English

Definition of dilly-dally verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

dilly-dally

 verb
verb
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dæli//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dæli//
 
[intransitive] (old-fashioned, informal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they dilly-dally
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dæli//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dæli//
 
he / she / it dilly-dallies
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dæliz//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dæliz//
 
past simple dilly-dallied
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dælid//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dælid//
 
past participle dilly-dallied
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dælid//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dælid//
 
-ing form dilly-dallying
BrE BrE//ˈdɪli dæliɪŋ//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈdɪli dæliɪŋ//
 
 
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to take too long to do something, go somewhere or make a decision synonym dawdle Don’t dilly-dally on the way home from school. More Like This Reduplicative words airy-fairy, argy-bargy, chit-chat, criss-cross, dilly-dally, harum-scarum, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hocus-pocus, hoity-toity, hotchpotch, hurly-burly, itty-bitty, mumbo jumbo, mishmash, nitty-gritty, ping-pong, pitter-patter, shilly-shally, teeny-weeny, tittle-tattle, touchy-feely, wishy-washySee worksheet. Word Origin early 17th cent.: reduplication of dally.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: dilly-dally