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: by, go, 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: by, go, 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: by, go, 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.
Like many cats, Matilda likes the finer things in life, and a cosy bed where she can watch the world go by is a must for this pampered puss!
I love the glamorous Port littered with luxury sports cars, super yachts and opulent shops, I can sit there all day and just watch the world go by.
He is not a very playful cat and prefers to laze around and watch the world go by. He has lived in a house with three other cats and a dog and has experience of children.
by Jospeh Jones, aged 11 My Idea of Heaven MY IDEA of heaven is making a baby grin Walking the dog on Sunday, and then watching your team win Strolling by the sea, with the sun high in the sky Sipping on a cool drink, while you watch the world go by Kicking up the autumn leaves, holding your child's hand A summer's day on the beach, going barefoot in the sand Hearing some new music that gets into your soul Playing football with your mates, and scoring a great goal Finding a bar of chocolate, you'd forgotten that you had Receiving a letter with good news, that really makes you glad There are so many wonderful things that I like to do But my best idea of heaven is just being here with you.
It's the best place to sit at an open-air cafe and watch the world go by. Listen for the noon bugle call, played from the tower of St Mary's Basilica.
I wanted to trek to the top of a mountain in the Himalayas and be awed by the breathtaking sights before me; I wanted to sit at a little coffee shop in a quaint European city for hours and watch the world go by - a flurry of faces and voices and languages I couldn't understand; I wanted, for once, to be in a place where no one knew my name and where I could just lose myself in exotic sights and sounds.
It's fabulous to sit out on the balcony and watch the world go by in the evening - and then shut the doors on everything but a slight hum from the outside.
"The stunning interior, combined with Parisian-style terrace seating, provide the perfect setting to enjoy a secluded meal or watch the world go by," said Kieran Terry, business manager Cafe Coco after the ribbon-cutting ceremony staged with Nigel Doughty, vice-president, food retail, M.H.
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.
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.
"You can sit at the bar and watch the world go by. It's a fantastic place, but I must admit I do enjoy a bit of a flutter and will play the tables.
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.