Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to while away: wile away
To spend an amount of time idly, pleasantly, or in a carefree manner. Often used in the phrase "while away the hours." A noun or pronoun can be used between "while" and "away." When we were kids, we would while away the hours on rainy days just drawing pictures and reading books. Don't just while the summer away—set a goal for yourself and do something constructive.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
while a period of time away (doing something)
to spend or waste time doing something. I whiled an hour away just staring at the sea. Liz whiled away the entire afternoon, snoozing. I just love to while away the hours.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Spend time idly or pleasantly, as in It was a beautiful day and we whiled away the hours in the garden. This expression is the only surviving use of the verb while, meaning "to spend time." [First half of 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
while away the time, etc. (doing something)pass the time (doing something), usually because you are waiting for something or have nothing better to do: I had ten hours to wait in Rome, so I whiled away the time wandering around the museums.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
To spend some duration of time idly or pleasantly: The campers whiled the hours away by singing songs. We whiled away the summer.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.