idle

(redirected from idling)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

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 hands are the devil's playthings

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 idle hands are the devil's playthings.
See also: hand, idle

idle hands are the devil's tools

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 idle hands are the devil's tools.
See also: hand, idle, tool

idle hands are 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 idle hands are the devil's workshop.
See also: hand, 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

the devil finds work for idle hands

When one is unoccupied, 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 the devil finds work for idle hands.
See also: devil, find, hand, idle, work

the devil finds work for idle hands to do

When one is unoccupied, 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 the devil finds work for idle hands to do.
See also: devil, find, hand, idle, work

the devil makes work for idle hands

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 the devil makes work for idle hands.
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 ?
To combat these issues, a variety of manufacturers are developing and producing both on-board and remote systems designed to allow operators and fleets to reduce idling time.
Posters hang on school grounds, faculty and staff encourage parents to reduce idling time and the bus service the school works with reminds bus drivers to cut their engines after three idle minutes.
But idling is often born of habits formed before diesel engines, along with their fuels and lubricants, were improved.
The trucking industry, states and the EPA agree that cutting back on unnecessary truck idling should be a priority.
A recent study suggests that in the peak of winter, Canadians voluntarily idle their vehicles for a combined total of more than 75 million minutes a day--equivalent to one vehicle idling for 144 years.
Our research showed that a V6 restart takes about the same fuel as 5 seconds of idling.
In an effort to help facilitate more consistent, effective state truck idling laws, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently developed a model that states can consider adopting to help strengthen idling reduction efforts, reduce fuel consumption and improve industry compliance.
The focus on the noise and emissions effects of idling diesel vehicles continues to grow in many states and communities, drawing even more attention to the economic and environmental issues related to wasteful engine idling.
Studies have found that switching off the engine when the vehicle is stopped for more than a very short time -- as opposed to leaving it idling -- results in considerable fuel-saving and emission reduction.
To maintain a comfortable temperature in the cab and power small electrical devices like televisions, microwaves, and refrigerators, truckers typically keep their engines running, or idling.
With the cold weather season in full swing, millions of American drivers are starting each day by idling their vehicles for 5 to 10 minutes.
7 million will be spent to clean up emissions from idling long-haul trucks along the Interstate 5 corridor in Oregon and California.
More than 20 states have introduced anti-idling laws that were written primarily to stop truckers from leaving their rigs idling for long periods.
s Polyolefins and Elastomers business group in Houston is idling another 885 million lb/yr of polyethylene capacity, primarily for LLDPE, at unspecified plants in North America.