American English

Definition of idle verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they idle
    he / she / it idles
    past simple idled
    -ing form idling
    jump to other results
  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 She left the car idling at the curb.
  3. 3[transitive] idle somebody/something to close a factory, etc. or stop providing work for the workers, especially temporarily The strikes have idled nearly 4 000 workers.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: idle