What does idleness mean?

Definitions for idleness

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word idleness.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. idleness, idling, loafingnoun

    having no employment

  2. groundlessness, idlenessnoun

    the quality of lacking substance or value

    "the groundlessness of their report was quickly recognized"

  3. faineance, idlenessnoun

    the trait of being idle out of a reluctance to work


  1. idlenessnoun

    The state of being idle; inactivity.

  2. idlenessnoun

    The state of being indolent; indolence

  3. idlenessnoun

    Groundlessness; worthlessness; triviality.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Idlenessnoun

    Etymology: from idle.

    Nor is excess the only thing by which sin mauls and breaks men in their health, and the comfortable enjoyment of themselves thereby; but many are also brought to a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere idleness, and idleness is both itself a great sin, and the cause of many more. Robert South, Serm.

    All which yet could not make us accuse her, though it made us pine away for spight, to lose any of our time in so troublesome an idleness. Philip Sidney, b. ii.

    To the English court assemble now,
    From ev'ry region, apes of idleness. William Shakespeare, Henry IV.

    He fearing idleness, the nurse of ill,
    In sculpture exercis'd his happy skill. John Dryden, Ovid.

    Nature being liberal to all without labour, necessity imposing no industry or travel, idleness bringeth forth no other fruits than vain thoughts and licentious pleasures. Walter Raleigh.

    Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
    My idleness doth hatch. William Shakespeare, Ant. and Cleopatra.

    There is no heat of affection but is joined with some idleness of brain. Francis Bacon, War with Spain.


  1. Idleness

    Idleness is a lack of motion or energy. In describing a person, idle means the act of nothing or no work (for example: "John Smith is an idle person"). A person who spends his or her days doing nothing could be said to be "idly passing his or her days" (for example: "Mary has been idle on her instant messenger account for hours."). An idle machine is stopped, exerting no work. A computer processor or communication circuit is described as idle when it is not being used by any program, application or message. Similarly, an engine of an automobile may be described as idle when it is running only to sustain its running (not doing any useful work), this is also called the tickover (see idle).


  1. idleness

    Idleness is the state of being inactive, not engaged in any activity or work, often implying a lack of productivity, movement, or usefulness. It can also refer to the leisure time that a person chooses to spend without doing anything in particular, or a tendency to avoid work or exertion; laziness.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Idlenessnoun

    the condition or quality of being idle (in the various senses of that word); uselessness; fruitlessness; triviality; inactivity; laziness

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of idleness in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of idleness in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of idleness in a Sentence

  1. Lord Chesterfield:

    Know the true value of time snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness no laziness no procrastination never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

  2. Kierkegaard:

    Far from idleness being the root of all evil, it is rather the only true good.

  3. Bhartrihari:

    Idleness is a great enemy to mankind. There is no friend like energy, for, if you cultivate that, it will never fail.

  4. Hippocrates:

    Idleness and lack of occupation tend - nay are dragged - towards evil.

  5. Agatha Christie:

    I don't think necessity is the mother of invention - invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness. To save oneself trouble.

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Translations for idleness

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • zahálkaCzech
  • segurdodWelsh
  • Stillstand, Indolenz, Untätigkeit, Arbeitsunwilligkeit, TrägheitGerman
  • ociosidadSpanish
  • بیکار بودنPersian
  • turhuus, velttous, joutilaisuus, vetelyysFinnish
  • futilité, oisiveté, indolence, inactivité, inutilitéFrench
  • आलस्यHindi
  • indolenza, ozio, pigrizia, oziositàItalian
  • ōtiumLatin
  • inatividade, ócioPortuguese
  • простой, бесплодность, бесполезность, безделье, праздность, леностьRussian
  • dokolicaSerbo-Croatian
  • sysslolöshetSwedish
  • trög, nosdunVolapük

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"idleness." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/idleness>.

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