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.
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.
Go and wake up that idle brother of yours.
it is not worth doing something, because nothing will be achieved:
It would be idle to deny that progress was made.
rich people who do not have to work
—idleness noun [uncountable]
They sat chatting idly.
I cannot stand idly by and let him take the blame.