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Definition of 'idle'


  1. the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling; "the car engine was running at idle"


  1. run disconnected or idle; "the engine is idling"
       Synonyms: tick over
       Antonyms: run
  2. be idle; exist in a changeless situation; "The old man sat and stagnated on his porch"; "He slugged in bed all morning"
       Synonyms: laze slug stagnate
       Antonyms: work


  1. not in action or at work; "an idle laborer"; "idle drifters"; "the idle rich"; "an idle mind"
       Antonyms: busy
  2. without a basis in reason or fact; "baseless gossip"; "the allegations proved groundless"; "idle fears"; "unfounded suspicions"; "unwarranted jealousy"
       Synonyms: baseless groundless unfounded unwarranted wild
  3. not in active use; "the machinery sat idle during the strike"; "idle hands"
       Synonyms: unused
  4. silly or trivial; "idle pleasure"; "light banter"; "light idle chatter"
       Synonyms: light
  5. lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility; "idle talk"; "a loose tongue"
       Synonyms: loose
  6. not yielding a return; "dead capital"; "idle funds"
       Synonyms: dead
  7. not having a job; "idle carpenters"; "jobless transients"; "many people in the area were out of work"
       Synonyms: jobless out of work

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