verb (used without object), daw·dled, daw·dling.

  1. to waste time; idle; trifle; loiter: Stop dawdling and help me with these packages!
  2. to move slowly, languidly, or dilatorily; saunter.

verb (used with object), daw·dled, daw·dling.

  1. to waste (time) by or as if by trifling (usually followed by away): He dawdled away the whole morning.


  1. (intr) to be slow or lag behind
  2. (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.

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