watch the world go by

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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 periodicals archive ?
I''ve " resigned myself to sitting with a large cup of incredibly strong coffee and watching the world go by "
There was a terrace of houses overlooking the railway between Jesmond and West Jesmond, and he would exchange a word with an elderly couple sitting on their doorstep, watching the world go by.
This is all about good clean fun, a welcome lunchtime snack or afternoon tea, perched al fresco in one of the area's little cafs, just watching the world go by.
Upon retirement, Law and Jane traveled extensively, but their favorite spot was Ogunquit, ME., where they would walk for miles along the shoreline, holding hands and watching the world go by.
Increasingly, the average road trip is as involving as watching the world go by in all its high-definition surround-sound glory from your living room.
Trixie is somewhat of a wallflower, shy and hiding behind her more vivacious friend Jazzy, watching the world go by, including a most-attractive guy named Gavin.
At a recent lesbian health conference in Washington, D.C., two attendees were idly watching the world go by from their hotel window when the Presidential motorcade roared past.
While attending in Washington, D.C., two lesbians were standing in their hotel room window watching the world go by. Suddenly the Bush presidential motorcade roared by.
The tracks include classics such as That's Amore, Hey, Brother Pour the Wine, Night Train to Memphis and Watching the World Go By.
Bridie Tomalin Looking forward to sitting outside in the sunshine and watching the world go by, with a nice chilled glass of wine, of course.
Watching the world go by Miss you mate Chinky, Betty Bet & Family xxx WEBB Eric Passed away on 28th January 2015, aged 75 years.
Name: Brynn Age: 2 Owner: Lilly-May Lives: North Shields Brynn loves cuddles on the sofa with my daughter Name: Sally Age: 1 Owner: Christos Gus Lives: Hazlerigg She loves to sit on my shoulder, like a parrot, watching the world go by Name: Stanley Age: 8 Owner: Mark Wise Lives: Durham Stan follows me like glue Name: | Lola Jose Age: 10 weeks Owner: Susan Lives: Benton I love meal time the best as I try to pinch my brother's tea.