Synonyms of idle in English:

idle


See definition of idle

adjective

1‘an idle fellow’

SYNONYMS
lazy, indolent, slothful, work-shy, shiftless, loafing, inactive, inert, sluggish, lethargic, languorous, listless, torpid
remiss, negligent, slack, lax, lackadaisical, impassive, good-for-nothing, do-nothing
leisurely
informal bone idle
archaic fainéant
rare otiose
ANTONYMS

industrious

2‘‘I was getting bored with being idle,’ she told her new employer’

SYNONYMS
unemployed, jobless, out of work, out of a job, redundant, between jobs, workless, unwaged, unoccupied
British informal on the dole, signing on
British euphemistic resting
Australian, New Zealand informal on the wallaby track
ANTONYMS

employed

3‘instead of leaving the machine idle, I sold it’

SYNONYMS
not in use, out of use, not operating, not working, inactive, out of action, inoperative, non-functioning, out of service, unused, unoccupied, unemployed
disused, no longer in use, fallen into disuse, mothballed
ANTONYMS

working

4‘they filled their idle hours with endless gossiping sessions’

SYNONYMS
unoccupied, spare, empty, vacant, unfilled, available
ANTONYMS

busy, full

5‘he didn't indulge in idle remarks or mere social chit-chat’

SYNONYMS
frivolous, trivial, trifling, minor, petty, foolish, lightweight, shallow, superficial, insignificant, unimportant, worthless, valueless, pointless, paltry, niggling, peripheral, without depth, inane, fatuous, senseless, meaningless, purposeless, unnecessary, time-wasting
ANTONYMS

serious, meaningful

6‘she was not a woman to make idle threats’

SYNONYMS
empty, meaningless, aimless, pointless, worthless, useless, vain, in vain, insubstantial, futile, ineffective, ineffectual
groundless, without grounds, baseless, lacking foundation, without foundation
ANTONYMS

serious


verb

1‘Lily idled on the window seat: she hated Sundays’

SYNONYMS
do nothing, be inactive, vegetate, sit back, take it easy, rest on one's oars, mark time, kick one's heels, twiddle one's thumbs, kill time, languish, laze, laze about, laze around, lounge, lounge about, lounge around, loll, loll about, loll around, loaf, loaf about, loaf around, slouch, slouch about, slouch around
go to seed, degenerate, moulder, stagnate
informal hang around, veg out
British informal hang about, mooch about, mooch around, slummock
North American informal bum around, bat about, bat around, lollygag, lay on one's oars

2‘the men idled their time away on street corners’

SYNONYMS
fritter, while, laze, loiter
pass, spend, use, employ, use up, occupy, take up, fill up, fill in, fill, beguile, expend, devote, waste, dissipate, kill

3‘Robert idled along the pavement’

SYNONYMS
saunter, stroll, dawdle, drift, potter, amble, go slowly, walk slowly, loiter, maunder, wander, straggle
informal mosey, tootle
British informal pootle, mooch, swan
North American informal putter

4‘he slowed the car at a junction, letting the engine idle’

SYNONYMS
tick over, run slowly in neutral