idle

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an idle brain is the devil's workshop

When one has nothing to do, one is more likely to get into trouble. When I'm off from school, my grandmother is always trying to get me out of the house, while reminding me that an idle brain is the devil's workshop.
See also: brain, idle, workshop

be bone idle

To be extremely lazy. Can you please get Billy to go to the playground or something? He's been bone idle, just laying around all day.
See also: bone, idle

bone-idle

Extremely lazy. Can you please get Billy to go to the playground or something? He's just laying around all day, being bone-idle.

idle about

To be lazy. Can you please get Billy to go to the playground or something? He's just been idling about all day.
See also: idle

idle away

To waste an interval of time in laziness or inactivity. A noun or pronoun can be used between "idle" and "away." Don't idle the whole day away, or else you'll be up all night finishing your science project. I idled away a few hours and then got back to my research.
See also: away, idle

idle folk have the least leisure

People who are slow to finish their work ultimately have less free time. Idle folk have the least leisure, you know. So if you would just write your paper instead of procrastinating, you'd have some time to really relax.
See also: folk, have, idle, least, leisure

idle hands are the devil's playthings

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. Idle hands are the devil's playthings, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. Idle hands are the devil's playthings, after all.
See also: hand, idle

idle hands are the devil's tools

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. Idle hands are the devil's tools, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. Idle hands are the devil's tools, after all.
See also: hand, idle, tool

idle hands are the devil's workshop

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. Idle hands are the devil's workshop, after all.
See also: hand, idle, workshop

idle people have the least leisure

People who are slow to finish their work ultimately have less free time. Idle people have the least leisure, you know. So if you would just write your paper instead of procrastinating, you'd have some time to really relax.
See also: have, idle, least, leisure, people

the devil finds work for idle hands

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. The devil finds work for idle hands, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. The devil finds work for idle hands, after all.
See also: devil, find, hand, idle, work

the devil finds work for idle hands to do

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. The devil finds work for idle hands to do, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. The devil finds work for idle hands to do, after all.
See also: devil, find, hand, idle, work

the devil makes work for idle hands

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. The devil makes work for idle hands, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. The devil finds work for idle hands, after all.
See also: devil, hand, idle, make, work

the devil makes work for idle hands to do

When one is unoccupied or has nothing to do, one is more likely to cause or get into trouble. The devil makes work for idle hands to do, so is it any surprise they started causing mischief after being left to their own devices for so long? We try to keep our kids busy with various jobs and activities during their summer break. The devil makes work for idle hands to do, after all.
See also: devil, hand, idle, make, work

devil finds work for idle hands to do

Prov. If you do not have useful work to do, you will be tempted to do frivolous or harmful things to get rid of your boredom. Knowing that the devil finds work for idle hands to do, Elizabeth always made sure that her children had plenty of chores to keep them occupied.
See also: devil, find, hand, idle, work

idle about

to loiter around, doing nothing. Please don't idle about. Get busy! Andy is idling about today.
See also: idle

idle brain is the devil's workshop

Prov. People who have nothing worthwhile to think about will usually think of something bad to do. We need to figure out something constructive for Tom to do in the afternoons after school. An idle brain is the devil's workshop.
See also: brain, idle, workshop

Idle people have the least leisure.

 and Idle folk have the least leisure.
Prov. If you are not energetic and hardworking, you will never have any free time, since you will have to spend all your time finishing your work. My grandmother always told me not to dawdle, since idle people have the least leisure.
See also: have, idle, least, leisure, people

idle something away

Fig. to waste one's time in idleness; to waste a period of time, such as an afternoon, evening, one's life. She idled the afternoon away and then went to a party. Don't idle away the afternoon.
See also: away, idle

ˌbone ˈidle

(British English, informal) (of a person) very lazy: The family consists of Vera, her intensely irritating husband and her two bone idle sons.
See also: bone, idle

the devil makes work for idle ˈhands

(saying) people who do not have enough to do often start to do wrong: She blamed the crimes on the local jobless teenagers. ‘The devil makes work for idle hands,’ she would say.
See also: devil, hand, idle, make, work

idle away

v.
To spend some period of time not working or avoiding work: I idled the day away. The children idled away the summer.
See also: away, idle
References in periodicals archive ?
Buchan conjectured that his "boyhood must have been one of the idlest on record," yet he managed to get through one or two books.
In libel and slander cases, for example, antebellum courts had held that calling a white person black was actionable per se, recognizing that the institution of slavery threatened grave consequences for even the idlest of insults.
But worth waiting for, a perfect alignment Like a dancer's spine, like the bare back Of a girlish Suzanne Farrell, vertical And weightless as a white heron stepping Across the shallows and taking off, "Holding on to the air," and held Harmless, for having brought to bear, Like Degas, the greatest of difficulties On the idlest of arts, so the moment could be Suspended, and held, in memory.
There's probably not a playwright as prone to insinuation and suggestiveness as Ibsen, where seemingly the idlest remark functions as an emotional landmine that gets detonated an act or two later.
(30.) It is, he insists, "ane harde tyme for the poeple, by reason that yr ys a buzie tyme of sowinge, and in my opynyon excepte the necessytye of the cause desyred yt wth I hope dothe not, Maye is the most fyttest, and idlest [i.e., idealest] tyme for the poeple to deale in that actyon" (SP12/199/13).
Faced with a choice between honour and reputation, he turns to his rakish best friend Lord Arthur Goring, the idlest man in London.
We have all become accustomed to Catholic leadership in ecumenical thought and action, but in the 1950s it would have required more stretch than most Protestant (or Catholic) imaginations could manage to believe that before long the movement would receive such a "jump start" from so unexpected a quarter, and the thought that a Paulist would be in the forefront would have seemed the idlest of daydreams.