Something idle is not active. If your car is idling, it's running but not moving. If someone calls you idle, it either means they think you don't have enough to do or that you're just plain lazy.

Idle can also mean having no value or purpose: idle rumors are rumors that people make up when they're bored, but have no grounding in fact. As a verb, idle can also refer to a car engine that is running while the vehicle is not moving. The adjective descends from Middle English idel, from Old English īdel "empty."

Definitions of idle
  1. adjective
    not in action or at work
    “an idle laborer”
    idle drifters”
    “the idle rich”
    “an idle mind”
    bone-idle, bone-lazy
    constitutionally lazy or idle
    faineant, indolent, lazy, otiose, slothful, work-shy
    disinclined to work or exertion
    idle or indolent especially in a dreamy way
    free from duties or responsibilities
    not busy or occupied; free
    ineffective, ineffectual, uneffective
    not producing an intended effect
    not engaged in a gainful occupation
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    actively or fully engaged or occupied
    at work
    on the job
    drudging, laboring, labouring, toiling
    doing arduous or unpleasant work
    engaged, occupied
    having ones attention or mind or energy engaged
    too busy
    tied up
    kept occupied or engaged
    up to
    busy or occupied with
    characterized by care and perseverance in carrying out tasks
    having your services engaged for; or having a job especially one that pays wages or a salary
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  2. adjective
    not having a job
    idle carpenters”
    synonyms: jobless, out of work
    not engaged in a gainful occupation
  3. adjective
    not in active use
    “the machinery sat idle during the strike”
    idle hands”
    synonyms: unused
    lacking activity; lying idle or unused
  4. verb
    be idle; exist in a changeless situation
    synonyms: laze, slug, stagnate
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    exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
    do work, work
    be employed
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    moon, moon around, moon on
    be idle in a listless or dreamy way
    ride the bench, warm the bench
    be out of the game
    daydream, moon
    have dreamlike musings or fantasies while awake
    bum, bum about, bum around, frig around, loaf, loll, loll around, lounge about, lounge around, waste one's time
    be lazy or idle
    lie about, lie around
    hang around idly
  5. verb
    run disconnected or idle
    “the engine is idling
    synonyms: tick over
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    be operating, running or functioning
    function, go, operate, run, work
    perform as expected when applied
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  6. noun
    the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling
    “the car engine was running at idle
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    type of:
    the state of being in effect or being operative
  7. adjective
    without a basis in reason or fact
    idle fears”
    synonyms: baseless, groundless, unfounded, unwarranted, wild
    not sustained or maintained by nonmaterial aid
  8. adjective
    lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility
    idle talk”
    synonyms: loose
    showing lack of care for consequences
  9. adjective
    silly or trivial
    idle pleasure”
    “light idle chatter”
    synonyms: light
    not serious in content or attitude or behavior
  10. adjective
    not yielding a return
    idle funds”
    synonyms: dead
    producing little or no profit or gain
Word Family

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