idles, idling, idled
1) ADJ: v-link ADJ If people who were working are idle, they have no jobs or work.

Employees have been idle almost a month because of shortages.

2) ADJ: v-link ADJ If machines or factories are idle, they are not working or being used.

Now the machine is lying idle.

...factories that had been idle for years.

3) ADJ (disapproval) If you say that someone is idle, you disapprove of them because they are not doing anything and you think they should be.

...idle bureaucrats who spent the day reading newspapers...

I never met such an idle bunch of workers in all my life!

Derived words:
idleness N-UNCOUNT

Idleness is a very bad thing for human nature.

idly ADV ADV with v

We were not idly sitting around.

4) ADJ: ADJ n Idle is used to describe something that you do for no particular reason, often because you have nothing better to do.

Brian kept up the idle chatter for another five minutes.

...idle curiosity.

Derived words:
idly ADV ADV with v, ADV adj

We talked idly about magazines and baseball...

`Has there been an accident?' Gary asked, idly curious.

5) ADJ: it v-link ADJ to-inf If you say that it is idle to do something, you mean that it is not worth doing it, because it will not achieve anything.

It would be idle to pretend the system is perfect.

6) ADJ: ADJ n You refer to an idle threat or boast when you do not think the person making it will or can do what they say.

It was more of an idle threat than anything...

His statement isn't merely an idle boast.

7) VERB If you idle, you spend time in a lazy way, doing nothing in particular.

When they reached his house, Scobie idled a bit, finishing his cigarette...

We spent many hours idling in one of the cafes that line three sides of the tiny piazza...

[V adv/prep] He idled around afterwards, window shopping until about 5pm.

8) VERB To idle a factory or other place of work means to close it down because there is no work to do or because the workers are on strike. [AM]

[V-ed] Officials say some of the idled assembly plants will resume production after the Labor Day holiday. [Also V n]

(in BRIT, usually use shut down)
9) VERB To idle workers means to stop them working. [AM]

[V n] The strike has idled about 55,000 machinists.

(in BRIT, use lay off)
10) VERB If an engine or vehicle is idling, the engine is running slowly and quietly because it is not in gear, and the vehicle is not moving.

Beyond a stand of trees a small plane idled...

Her Daimler limo waits with its engine idling.

Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • IDLE —  Pour l’article homonyme, voir Eric Idle.  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Idle — I dle, a. [Compar. {Idler}; superl. {Idlest}.] [OE. idel, AS. [=i]del vain, empty, useless; akin to OS. [=i]dal, D. ijdel, OHG. [=i]tal vain, empty, mere, G. eitel, Dan. & Sw. idel mere, pure, and prob. to Gr. ? clear, pure, ? to burn. Cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • idle — [īd′ l] adj. idler, idlest [ME idel < OE, empty, akin to Ger eitel, vain, empty < ? IE base * ai dh, to burn, shine: basic sense, either “only apparent, seeming” or “burned out”] 1. a) having no value, use, or significance; worthless;… …   English World dictionary

  • IDLE — в Windows Тип Интегрированная среда разработки Операционная система …   Википедия

  • Idle — [ aɪdl] (engl. „untätig“, „unausgenutzt“) bezeichnet in der Informatik den Umstand, dass ein Prozess untätig ist oder eine Ressource ungenutzt bleibt. Zum einen ist Idling unerwünscht, da brach liegende Kapazitäten die Effizienz des Systems… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • idle — adj 1 *vain, nugatory, otiose, empty, hollow Analogous words: fruitless, bootless, *futile, vain: *ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious: trivial, paltry, *petty, trifling Contrasted words: significant, pregnant, meaningful (see …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • IDLE — steht für: International Date Line East, eine der Zonenzeiten der Zeitzone UTC+12 Idle, Bestandteil von Informatik Fachbegriffen (z.B. Idle Task für Leerlaufprozess) Integrated DeveLopment Environment, Entwicklungsumgebung für die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • idle — idle·hood; idle·man; idle·ness; idle; …   English syllables

  • idle — [adj1] not used; out of action abandoned, asleep, barren, closed down, dead, deserted, down, dusty, empty, gathering dust*, inactive, inert, jobless, laid off, leisured, mothballed, motionless, on the bench*, on the shelf*, out of operation, out… …   New thesaurus

  • Idle — I dle, v. t. To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume; often followed by away; as, to idle away an hour a day. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • idle — ► ADJECTIVE (idler, idlest) 1) avoiding work; lazy. 2) not working or in use. 3) having no purpose or basis: idle threats. ► VERB 1) spend time doing nothing. 2) (of an engine) run slowly w …   English terms dictionary

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