Definition of idle verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

     

    idle

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdl//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they idle
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdl//
     
    he / she / it idles
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdlz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdlz//
     
    past simple idled
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdld//
     
    past participle idled
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdld//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdld//
     
    -ing form idling
    BrE BrE//ˈaɪdlɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈaɪdlɪŋ//
     
    Driving
     
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  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to spend time doing nothing important idle something (+ adv./prep.) They idled the days away, talking and watching television. (+ adv./prep.) They idled along by the river (= walked slowly and with no particular purpose).
  2. 2[intransitive] (of an engine) to run slowly while the vehicle is not moving synonym tick over She left the car idling at the roadside. See related entries: Driving
  3. 3[transitive] idle somebody/something (North American English) to close a factory, etc. or stop providing work for the workers, especially temporarily The strikes have idled nearly 4 000 workers.
  4. Word Origin Old English īdel ‘empty, useless’, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch ijdel ‘vain, frivolous, useless’ and German eitel ‘bare, worthless’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: idle