watch the world go by

watch the world go by

1. To sit idly and watch other people's activities. I love sitting in a busy station, watching the world go by as I wait for my train.
2. To do nothing or very little that is productive or worth any value. I know you're upset about losing your job, but you can't just sit here watching the world go by—you have to get out there and find something new to do!
See also: watch, world

watch the world go by

spend time observing other people going about their business.
1996 Europe: Rough Guide Outdoor seating allows you to watch the world go by or to play a game of chess with giant chess pieces under the trees.
See also: watch, world

watch the ˈworld go by

watch what is happening around you, but do little yourself: It was one of those cafes with a terrace where you can sit and watch the world go by.
See also: watch, world
References in classic literature ?
Jimmie's occupation for a long time was to stand on streetcorners and watch the world go by, dreaming blood-red dreams at the passing of pretty women.
He has adjusted well to living indoors in his foster home, as long as he has a window to watch the world go by from his cat tree.
Get a table outside and watch the world go by on hip Charlotte Street.
Yesterday, as I walked through the pastures in the afternoon sunshine with Nancy in the backpack and Annas and Clemmy toddling behind I felt an urge to just sit down and watch the world go by.
After jetting out with bmi regional from East Midlands, I'd wake up and watch the world go by over breakfast in one of the many gorgeous cafes in Belgium's capital.
THE CLUB HOUSE The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by in Liverpool.
ST GEORGE'S SQUARE WATCH the world go by from a bench or take a seat on the steps while your enjoy your lunch in St George's Square, a reliable Hudders-field sun trap.
A spokeswoman for Sustrans, which is running the initiative dubbed DIY Streets Kings Heath, said: "Street cafe seating will be available for anyone to use to stop for a coffee, read the newspaper or relax and just watch the world go by.
SET in a prime Quayside location, and with a balcony on which to sit out and watch the world go by, is this studio apartment which is furnished to a good standard.
On the warmer days Muse boasts a fully licenced terrace cafe, this is a great place to dine alfresco and watch the world go by.
Oh, for a time you can sit in the car and be driven safely to your destination while you watch the world go by.
In a heart-rending interview, Hayley Williams' devastated mum, Beverley, said she doesn't come out of her bed"Iroom "except to eat," adding: "I cry and watch the world go by through the window.
The food is cooked with flair and the place is a low key, stylish bistro where you can sit and watch the world go by.
Their salad boxes are great value and good portion size, and you can eat in, and watch the world go by, or take them back to work.
Olympiapark, the site of the 1972 games, is a popular choice - you can skate on the Olympic ice rink and swim in the pool - and there's a surprising amount of parks and green spaces where you can relax and watch the world go by.