verb (used without object), daw·dled, daw·dling.
- to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter: Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
- to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.
verb (used with object), daw·dled, daw·dling.
- to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away): He dawdled away the whole morning.
- (intr) to be slow or lag behind
- (when tr, often foll by away) to waste (time); trifle
1650s, perhaps a variant of daddle “to walk unsteadily.” Perhaps influenced by daw, because the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until c.1775. Related: Dawdled; dawdling.