—adj. 1. not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing: idle workers. 2. not spent or filled with activity: idle hours. 3. not in use or operation; not kept busy: idle machinery. 4. habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.
5. of no real worth, importance, or significance: idle talk. 6. having no basis or reason; baseless; groundless: idle fears. 7. frivolous; vain: idle pleasures. 8. meaningless; senseless: idle threats. 9. futile; unavailing: idle rage.
—v.i. 1. to pass time doing nothing.
2. to move, loiter, or saunter aimlessly: to idle along the avenue. 3. (of a machine, engine, or mechanism) to operate at a low speed, disengaged from the load.
—v.t. 1. to pass (time) doing nothing (often fol. by away): to idle away the afternoon. 2. to cause (a person) to be idle: The strike idled many workers. 3. to cause (a machine, engine, or mechanism) to idle: I waited in the car while idling the engine.
—n. 1. the state or quality of being idle.
2. the state of a machine, engine, or mechanism that is idling: a cold engine that stalls at idle.