Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: idel

idle

1 adjective
     
idle1
1 not working or producing anything [≠ busy]:
I cannot afford to leave the land lying idle.
The whole team stood idle, waiting for the mechanic.
The workers have been idle for the last six months.
2 not serious, or not done with any definite intention:
She was not a woman to make idle threats.
It was only from idle curiosity that she went into the barn.
3 lazy:
Go and wake up that idle brother of yours.
4

it is idle to do something

it is not worth doing something, because nothing will be achieved:
It would be idle to deny that progress was made.
5

the idle rich

rich people who do not have to work
idleness noun [uncountable]
idly adverb:
They sat chatting idly.
I cannot stand idly by and let him take the blame.

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