twiddle

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twiddle one's thumbs

Fig. to pass the time by twirling one's thumbs. What am I supposed to do while waiting for you? Sit here and twiddle my thumbs? Don't sit around twiddling your thumbs. Get busy!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle with something

to play with something; to play with something, using one's fingers; to fiddle with something. I asked Jason to stop twiddling with the pencils. Someone is twiddling with the stereo controls.
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twiddle your thumbs

to do nothing Dan spent a whole day twiddling his thumbs, waiting for a package to be delivered.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle your thumbs

to have nothing useful to do while you are waiting for something to happen Until I get the go-ahead, I'm just sitting around twiddling my thumbs.
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle one's thumbs

Be bored or idle, as in There I sat for three hours, twiddling my thumbs, while he made call after call. This expression alludes to the habit of idly turning one's thumbs about one another during a period of inactivity. [Mid-1800s]
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle one’s thumbs

tv. to do nothing; to wait nervously, playing with one’s fingers. I sat twiddling my thumbs while you were out doing I don’t know what all!
See also: thumb, twiddle

twiddle (one's) thumbs

To do little or nothing; be idle.
See also: thumb, twiddle
References in periodicals archive ?
Among them is the complete lack of heating in winter, and ``occasional whiffs'' of exhaust fumes that arise when one twiddles with the heat exchanger levers near the hand brake.