Webster 1913 Edition
īdelvain, empty, useless; akin to OS.
ītalvain, empty, mere, G.
eitel, Dan. & Sw.
idelmere, pure, and prob. to Gr. [GREEK] clear, pure, [GREEK] to burn. Cf.
Of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren.“Deserts idle.”
idleword that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Matt. xii. 36.
idlestory became important.
Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed;
idlespear and shield were high uphing.
Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing;
Why stand ye here all the day
Matt. xx. 6.
Given rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; slothful;
Syn. – Unoccupied; unemployed; vacant; inactive; indolent; sluggish; slothful; useless; ineffectual; futile; frivolous; vain; trifling; unprofitable; unimportant.
Lazy. A propensity to inaction is expressed by each of these words; they differ in the cause and degree of this characteristic. Indolent denotes an habitual love to ease, a settled dislike of movement or effort; idle is opposed to
busy, and denotes a dislike of continuous exertion. Lazy is a stronger and more contemptuous term than indolent.
imp. & p. p.
p. pr. & vb. n.
To lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.
To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume; – often followed by away;
idleaway an hour a day
Webster 1828 Edition
1.Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing.
Why stand ye here all the day idle? Matt.20.
To be idle, is to be vicious.
2.Slothful; given to rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; as an idle man; an idle fellow.
3.Affording leisure; vacant; not occupied; as idle time; idle hours.
4.Remaining unused; unemployed; applied to things; as, my sword or spear is idle.
5.Useless; vain; ineffectual; as idle rage.
6.Unfruitful; barren; not productive of good.
Of antres vast and idle desarts.
7.Trifling; vain; of no importance; as an idle story; an idle reason; idle arguments.
8.Unprofitable; not tending to edification.
Every idle word that men shall speak,they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. Matt.12.
Idle differs from lazy; the latter implying constitutional or habitual aversion or indisposition to labor or action, sluggishness; whereas idle, in its proper sense, denotes merely unemployed. An industrious man may be idle, but he cannot be lazy.
To idle away, in a transitive sense, to spend in idleness; as, to idle away time.