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Idle   /ˈaɪdəl/   Listen
Idle

adjective
(compar. idler; superl. idlest)
1.
Not in action or at work.  "Idle drifters" , "The idle rich" , "An idle mind"
2.
Without a basis in reason or fact.  Synonyms: baseless, groundless, unfounded, unwarranted, wild.  "The allegations proved groundless" , "Idle fears" , "Unfounded suspicions" , "Unwarranted jealousy"
3.
Not in active use.  Synonym: unused.  "Idle hands"
4.
Silly or trivial.  Synonym: light.  "Light banter" , "Light idle chatter"
5.
Lacking a sense of restraint or responsibility.  Synonym: loose.  "A loose tongue"
6.
Not yielding a return.  Synonym: dead.  "Idle funds"
7.
Not having a job.  Synonyms: jobless, out of work.  "Jobless transients" , "Many people in the area were out of work"



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"Idle" Quotes from Famous Books



... pray to be informed of so much of the internal police of your State as relates to the laying, assessing, levying, and collecting taxes. I beg leave to assure your Excellency, that I am not prompted either by an idle curiosity, or by any wish to discover what prudence would dictate to conceal. It is necessary that I should be informed of these things, and I take the plain, open, candid method of acquiring information. To palliate or conceal any evils or disorders in our situation, can answer no good purpose; ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. XI • Various

... Slaveholders do not recognize the fact that God designed us all to work, and has so arranged matters, that true comfort and happiness can only be reached through the gateway of labor. It is no blessing to be idle, and let others wait upon us; and in this respect the slaves certainly have the advantage of ...
— Step by Step - or, Tidy's Way to Freedom • The American Tract Society

... keep men at work. Idle men are the ones who growl. The French consider periods spent in the trenches as periods of rest; instead of letting the men go on pass when relieved, they restore discipline by close ...
— Military Instructors Manual • James P. Cole and Oliver Schoonmaker

... seems uncultivated, and nearly all of it in misery. What have kings, and ministers, and parliaments, and states, to answer for their prejudices, seeing millions of hands that would be industrious, idle and starving through the execrable maxims of despotism, or the equally detestable prejudices of a feudal nobility. Sleep at the "Lion d'Or," at Montauban, ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Volume 19 - Travel and Adventure • Various

... hard case," said the admiral, "that, with all the will in the world to be up and doing something, we are lying here like a fleet of ships in a calm, as idle as possible." ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... with the pretence of warming his hands and fidgeted restlessly by the fire. Barbara had lost her expression of amusement and was honestly puzzled that he should make so great a pother about a piece of idle gossip. ...
— The Education of Eric Lane • Stephen McKenna

... goes bravely on, my lord. I was not idle, even last night. I dropped two of the handbills before I went to bed, and both are gone this morning. Nobody in the house has mentioned the circumstance of finding them, though I have been downstairs full half-an-hour. One or two recruits will be their ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... who, brought up in the merciless school of misfortune, no longer exaggerate the sentiment of sorrow, too familiar and assiduous a guest to be treated as a stranger, Mother Bunch was incapable of long yielding to idle regrets and vain despair, with regard to what was already past. Beyond doubt, the blow had been sudden, dreadful; doubtless it must leave a long and painful remembrance in the sufferer's soul; but it was soon to pass, as it were, into that chronic state of pain-durance, ...
— The Wandering Jew, Complete • Eugene Sue

... hand obeys me not; But, as in slumbers, when we fain would run From our imagined fears, our idle feet Grow to the ground, our struggling voice dies inward; So now, when I would force myself to chear you, My faltering tongue can give no glad presage: Alas, ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Vol. 6 (of 18) - Limberham; Oedipus; Troilus and Cressida; The Spanish Friar • John Dryden

... Damaris, bringing her slowly awake. For a time she lay watching, though but half consciously the tinted radiance as—the trees now stirred by a little wind drawing out of the sunset—it shifted and flitted over the white surfaces. At first it pleased her idle fancy. But presently distressed her, as too thin, too chill, too restlessly unsubstantial, the veriest chippering ghost of colour and of light. It affected her with a desolating sadness as of failure; of great designs richly ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... twirling the shade-tassel with her idle fingers, and seeing, not the rattle and clatter of Italian street-life, but the great space of the Maximilian-Joseph Platz, with the doves pattering placidly over the white and black pattern of its pavement, ...
— A Woman's Will • Anne Warner

... Berkeley was growing uneasy. He felt that he stood above a burning volcano, from which an eruption was liable to take place at any moment. He trembled at the slightest whispers of freedom, for royalty dreads independence, and the idle boasts of Giles Peram startled him. He summoned Hugh Price and consulted with him on the ...
— The Real America in Romance, Volume 6; A Century Too Soon (A Story - of Bacon's Rebellion) • John R. Musick

... died childless many years before him, and he never married again. He was in the full possession of his mental faculties and blessed with a fair degree of health when he resigned, in 1824, the Rectorship of Christ Church. For a time he lingered in the neighborhood of Stratford, but could not be idle, and was soon in charge of the parish in Meriden, and afterwards officiated in several places, as Tashua, Wallingford, North Haven, Oxford, and Quakers' Farms. Ten years were thus passed, doing what he could for the Church which he had served so faithfully and loved so much; but in 1834 failure ...
— Report Of Commemorative Services With The Sermons And Addresses At The Seabury Centenary, 1883-1885. • Diocese Of Connecticut

... cried harshly, 'and tell your master that it is idle for him to send to mine uncle. Tell him from me, Sir Gawaine, that by the vow of my knighthood, I will never leave this land till I or ...
— King Arthur's Knights - The Tales Re-told for Boys & Girls • Henry Gilbert

... his opinions, and to-night his opinions were strongly and forcefully declared. Beasley listened to him with interest, and smiled as he observed him moving about amongst the crowd drinking with one, treating another, his tongue never idle in his denunciation of sheriffs, and all those who called in their aid. It almost seemed as if the man was acting under orders, orders, perhaps inspired by a subtler mind, to disguise the real source ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... themselves in the very middle of the place, and reaped a golden, or rather a paper, harvest from the throng. The Boulevards and public gardens were forsaken; parties of pleasure took their walks in preference in the Place Vendome, which became the fashionable lounge of the idle, as well as the general rendezvous of the busy. The noise was so great all day, that the Chancellor, whose court was situated in the square, complained to the Regent and the municipality, that he could not hear the advocates. Law, when applied to, expressed his willingness to ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... the road turned round that fold of the plain, lolling a little to its left in the idle Spanish air, they came upon the village all in view. I do not know how to describe this village to you, my reader, for the words that mean to you what it was are all the wrong words to use. "Antique," "old-world," "quaint," seem words with which to tell of it. Yet it had no antiquity denied to the ...
— Don Rodriguez - Chronicles of Shadow Valley • Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron, Dunsany

... to this Spanish settlement, doubtless imagining, that the rains which come from Mexico, rolled and brought gold along with them, which would cost nothing but the trouble of picking up. But to what purpose serves this beautiful metal, but to make the people vain and idle among whom it is so common, and to make them {151} neglect the culture of the earth, which constitutes true riches, by the sweets it procures to man, and by the advantages ...
— History of Louisisana • Le Page Du Pratz

... King then cheeres his daughter, in his arme, Why dost thou weep? be still my sweete, be stil, Come clip thy loue I meane to do no harme, My Kingly bed with pleasures shall thee fill, And to hide all that idle heads may moue, Hence-forth I call ...
— Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624) • Dunstan Gale

... them? Left them there until they have stiffened like an unused lock, or rusted like the hinges of an unopened door; and you are as little active in all the noblest activities of spirit, which are activities in submission to and dependence upon Him, as if you were laid in your coffin with your idle hands crossed for ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ephesians; Epistles of St. Peter and St. John • Alexander Maclaren

... the reasons given, and besides, although they loved the Sergeant, they did not like Pierre. Pierre was not popular in the Quarter,—except with the young girls and a few special friends. The women said he was idle and vain like his mother, who had been, they said, a silly lazy thing with little to boast of but blue eyes and a white skin, of which she was too proud to endanger it by work, and that she had married the Sergeant for his pension, and would have ruined ...
— "A Soldier Of The Empire" - 1891 • Thomas Nelson Page

... leave it all, and to be forced to go and fight against my brothers, so to speak, in a cause that I felt I must hate. As I rode on, thinking thus, I could see that there was no such oppression and tyranny as the Irish captain spoke of; nothing but a bitter and contemptible race-hatred, fostered by idle and discontented men. ...
— Charge! - A Story of Briton and Boer • George Manville Fenn

... mariners of this unsophisticated and little frequented port, as that of the hawk is known to excite among the timid tenants of the barn-yard. The rig of the stranger had been noted two hours before by one or two old coasters, who habitually passed their idle moments on the heights, examining the signs of the weather, and indulging in gossip; and their conjectures had drawn to the Porto Ferrajo mall some twenty men, who fancied themselves, or who actually were, cognoscenti in matters of ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... out the moment Varney laid down the paper, but Varney, staring absently out of the porthole, did not listen. This, then, was the meaning of the pale young editor's enigmatical remark last night. Here was no idle malice. Diabolically resourceful and without shame, young Mr. Smith had circulated this lie to discredit reform and drive off its new champion. And this was the way that he, Varney, had kept the coming of the Cypriani ...
— Captivating Mary Carstairs • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... he glanced at the now enormous stack of pearl shells and at the tubs once more well filled with oysters, for the beachcomber had not let his men be idle. But the sight of the treasures of which they had been robbed only irritated the boy, and he turned away to forget it in encountering the grinning face of ...
— King o' the Beach - A Tropic Tale • George Manville Fenn

... groan and hiss, in mockery of inevitable and earnest doings. Out at sea the merry moods of the boat and hasty and determined throbs of the engine are manifestations of something accomplished in the overcoming of distance. Here it is all mere idle fancy, while the echoes jeer. Surely the uncouth imps of the dimly-lit jungles need not proclaim their ...
— Tropic Days • E. J. Banfield

... There was no noise of labor. I did not perceive that they were weaving or spinning. Yet I did detect, when the wind lulled and hearing was done away, the finest imaginable sweet musical hum as of a distant hive in May, which perchance was the sound of their thinking. They had no idle thoughts and no one without could say their work, for their industry was not in knots and excrescences embayed. Yet I find it difficult to remember them. They fade irrevocably even while I speak. It is only after a long and serious effort to recollect that I became again ...
— Life's Enthusiasms • David Starr Jordan

... and there to the Duke of York, to attend him, where among other things I did give a severe account of our proceedings, and what we found, in the business of Sir W. Jenings's demand of Supernumeraries. I thought it a good occasion to make an example of him, for he is a proud, idle fellow; and it did meet with the Duke of York's acceptance and well-liking; and he did call him in, after I had done, and did not only give him a soft rebuke, but condemns him to pay both their victuals and wages, or right himself of the purser. This ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... terminology in OS theory] 1. vi. To delay or sit idle while waiting for something. "We're blocking until everyone gets here." Compare {busy-wait}. 2. 'block on' vt. To block, waiting for (something). "Lunch is ...
— THE JARGON FILE, VERSION 2.9.10

... go next, what we should do when we decided where that "next" was to be—all these questions we had not considered at all. I, for my part, was curiously uninterested in the future. I was enjoying myself in an idle, irresponsible way, and I could not seem to concentrate my thoughts upon a definite course of action. If I did permit myself to think I found my thoughts straying to my work and there they faced the same impassable ...
— Kent Knowles: Quahaug • Joseph C. Lincoln

... every young woman would think of her soul when she looks in the glass, would hear the cry of her naked mind when she dallies away her precious hours at her toilet, would listen to the sad moaning of her hollow heart, as it wails through her idle, useless life, something would be done for the elevation of womanhood. I hope I address those who appreciate my words and my feelings. Above almost every thing else do I desire woman's elevation in the moral and intellectual scale of life. You may not see the mental ...
— Aims and Aids for Girls and Young Women • George Sumner Weaver

... conduct. When we reached Oreus and joined Proxenus, instead of sailing and following their instructions, they made a circuitous journey by land, and before we reached Macedonia we had spent three and twenty days. All the rest of the time, until Philip's arrival, we were sitting idle at Pella; and this, with the journey, brought the time up to fifty days in all. {156} During this interval, in a time of peace and truce, Philip was taking Doriscus,[n] Thrace, the district towards the Walls, the Sacred Mountain—everything, ...
— The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 1 • Demosthenes

... say—Miss Vanrenen does not know, and will never know from me, the true nature of the trick you played on her. You bear the label of a gentleman, so it is my earnest hope—indeed, my sincere belief—that you will respect the trust she placed in you, and not expose her to the idle chatter of clubs and scandal-spreading drawing-rooms. During two days I have been very bitter against you. To-day I take a calmer view, and, provided that neither my daughter nor I ever see or hear of you again, I shall be willing to credit that you acted more in a spirit of ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... opened for the admittance of the public, and one of the favorite amusements of the inhabitants of Lima is to go to San Andres to see the lunatics. It is melancholy to observe these unfortunate beings, thus made the objects of public exhibition, and irritated by the idle throng who go to stare at them. The collection of alms from the numerous visitors is, doubtless, the motive for keeping up this custom, which, nevertheless, ...
— Travels in Peru, on the Coast, in the Sierra, Across the Cordilleras and the Andes, into the Primeval Forests • J. J. von Tschudi

... now to find himself thus situated in a House of Commons which had just been elected, and from which it would therefore be idle to appeal to the electors, he would instantly resign his office, and his adversaries would take his place. The change would be most advantageous to the public, even if we suppose his successor to be both less virtuous and less able than himself. For it is much ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 5 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... days before they knew what Calhoun meant. A few days sufficed to rest Morgan's command, and it was not the nature of Morgan to remain long idle. He had to be doing something. It was known that the Confederate armies were about ready to make the long-talked-of forward movement into Kentucky. In fact, General Kirby Smith had already set out from Knoxville to invade Eastern Kentucky, and General Bragg was nearly ready to take the initiative ...
— Raiding with Morgan • Byron A. Dunn

... why, I am truly ignorant," writes Washington to Mr. Speaker Robinson, "but my strongest representations of matters relative to the frontiers are disregarded as idle and frivolous; my propositions and measures as partial and selfish; and all my sincerest endeavors for the service of my country are perverted to the worst purposes. My orders are dark and uncertain; ...
— The Life of George Washington, Volume I • Washington Irving

... How much rarer the world becomes to the man who has seen flower gardens and beautiful women moving to and fro among them! Ah, that ragged, rugged highway which he had traversed: dry crusts of life, buffets, bramble, curses and mockery. And here was realized one of his idle dreams. He took a dozen long strokes, which sent the craft up stream in the direction of Sillery, and let the oars drift. "You were to read a book?" ...
— The Grey Cloak • Harold MacGrath

... quite unfair to say that he only writes of the idle rich. What he actually does is—as I have said—to write of our upper middle class life, with its aristocrats at the top and its luckless governesses and tutors and journalists at the bottom; as we, who are in it, know it ...
— Suspended Judgments - Essays on Books and Sensations • John Cowper Powys

... ground yield two or three crops per annum.[981] Every inch of arable land is cultivated in grain, vegetables and fruits. Mountains and hills are terraced and tilled far up their slopes. Meadows are conspicuously absent, as are also fallow fields. Land is too valuable to lie idle. Labor is chiefly manual and is shared by the women and children; mattock and hoe are more common than the plow.[982] Such elaborate cultivation and such pressure of population eventuate in small holdings. In Japan one hectar (2 1-2 acres) is ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... my thoughts will appear to you but as idle fancies; and though you always seem well satisfied with my services, you have seldom felt inclined to follow my advice. How often have you said in jest: "You see too far, Machiavel! You should be an historian; he who acts, must provide for the exigence of the hour." And yet have I not ...
— Egmont - A Tragedy In Five Acts • Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

... sky, mountains and broad prospects, decorated with all the delicate magnificence of leaf tracery and flower petal and feather, soft fur and the shining wonder of living skin, musical with thunder and the singing of birds; but an arena nevertheless, an arena which offers no seats for idle spectators, in which one must will and do, decide, strike and ...
— New Worlds For Old - A Plain Account of Modern Socialism • Herbert George Wells

... me, he said, "There are the goods; I hope you will take care to sell them, and you shall have factorage." I thanked him for thus affording me an opportunity of employing myself, because I hated to be idle. ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... returned John Mangles. "We shall be forced to come to that, and I think it is useless to waste our time in idle discussion." ...
— In Search of the Castaways • Jules Verne

... They idle down the traffic lands, And loiter through the woods with spring; To them the glory of the earth Is but to ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 3 (of 4) • Various

... come of it. He had on the same day, April 3rd, met Randolph at Mrs. Jeune's at lunch. They had walked away together, when Randolph had proposed a Chamberlain-Hartington-Randolph league against both parties. This had tempted Chamberlain, but was an idle suggestion, as Hartington and ...
— The Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles W. Dilke, Vol. 2 • Stephen Gwynn

... insisted upon being obeyed, and if any one of his crew behaved improperly, or was even found idle, this strict and inexorable master would cut him down where he stood. But although he was so strict and exacting during the business sessions of his piratical year, by which I mean when he was cruising around after prizes, he was very much more disagreeable ...
— Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts • Frank Richard Stockton

... the British Commander, had the sea open to him and a finely tempered army upon which he could rely. The opposite was true of his opponents. They were a motley host rather than an army. They had few guns and almost no powder. Idle waiting since the fight at Lexington made untrained troops restless and anxious to go home. Nothing holds an army together like real war, and shrewd officers knew that they must give the men some hard task to keep up their fighting spirit. It was rumored that Gage was preparing an aggressive ...
— Washington and his Comrades in Arms - A Chronicle of the War of Independence • George Wrong

... in his well-earned retirement could he permit himself to be idle. To me, one of the most touching sights in the first year of my arrival here, was the indomitable perseverance with which every day the well-known figure of the old Principal would make its way, bag in hand, across the campus to the museum he loved so well, there to work for a time among ...
— McGill and its Story, 1821-1921 • Cyrus Macmillan

... The legs, hitherto idle, are now working. They take up and break off one by one the threads that keep the round mat stretched on the coarse supporting network. At the same time, the fangs grip this sheet, lift it by degrees, tear it from its base ...
— The Life of the Spider • J. Henri Fabre

... latter party were soon conscious of defeat, and began to hint mysteriously at a power stronger than the ballot-box, that would be invoked in defence of 'Southern rights.' To many, indeed to most persons, this seemed an idle threat. Not so to Frank Blair. He had imbibed from Benton the invincible faith of the latter in the settled purpose of the 'nullifiers' to subvert and destroy the government. And in a private caucus of the leaders of the Union party, on an ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I., No. IV., April, 1862 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... means of easing the imaginations of one's brain by fasting, excessive labours, and other virtues; and instead of frisking and fretting like a child let loose from school, you should pray to the virgin, sleep on a hard board, attend to your household duties, and never be idle." ...
— Droll Stories, Volume 1 • Honore de Balzac

... of the Revolution, tempered to the necessities of the times. The thoughts of the men of that day were as practical as their sentiments were patriotic. They wasted no portion of their energies upon idle and delusive speculations, but with a firm and fearless step advanced beyond the governmental landmarks which had hitherto circumscribed the limits of human freedom and planted their standard, where it has stood against ...
— United States Presidents' Inaugural Speeches - From Washington to George W. Bush • Various

... he, "don't I remember being three terms in the Third Fifth when that tartar old Heriot had it? I dare swear I got no more than my deserts. I was an idle vagabond, but Heriot made my life such a burden to me that I entreated my people to take me away from Harrow. And then my governor urged me to put my back into the work and get a remove. And I did. And would you believe it, upon the first day of the next term I wired to my people, 'You must take ...
— The Hill - A Romance of Friendship • Horace Annesley Vachell

... master's crops, housing the corn in caves or pits, distilling the roses, irrigating the khennah, and training and sheltering the vines. And he does so, not only from a sense of duty, but the more assiduously, because he finds in constant employment a protection against himself, against idle thoughts, wayward wishes, discontent, and despondency. It is doubtless very strange to the reader how any one who professed himself a Christian in good earnest should be open to the imputation of resting his hopes and his heart in ...
— Callista • John Henry Cardinal Newman

... both more just and more generous to remember that during our time of peril as a nation, these very ranks of purposeless men furnished us soldiers and money, and a cheerful faith in the cause, just as these very legions of idle women gave ...
— Modern Women and What is Said of Them - A Reprint of A Series of Articles in the Saturday Review (1868) • Anonymous

... said Goggins, "I have seen a litherary gentleman in a sponging-house do crack things on the wall with a bit of burnt stick, rather than be idle—they must execute." ...
— Handy Andy, Vol. 2 - A Tale of Irish Life • Samuel Lover

... those more characteristic audiences of the road whose taste is less fickle, less blase. This is so much the case with the arts in America—the fashions change with the season's end and there is never enough of novelty; dancing is already dying out, skating will not prevail for long among the idle; what shall we predict for our variety which is in its last stages of ...
— Adventures in the Arts - Informal Chapters on Painters, Vaudeville, and Poets • Marsden Hartley

... drawing these holders of personal property together. Capitalists with idle money found the avenues to profitable investment closed by the inability of Congress to offer protection to either manufacturing or shipping; creditors with money at interest witnessed with alarm the inability or unwillingness of state legislatures to resist ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... destitution by the Poor-law Commissioners, not more than 68,000 could in any one year, since the establishment of the Poor-law, be induced to accept the relief which Parliament provided for them;" and for this reason it is, that the condition of the most idle and indolent people in Europe is compassionated, as if it resulted from the misconduct of others rather than their own; and that "the patient endurance" of the most turbulent and bloodstained peasantry ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 59, No. 367, May 1846 • Various

... with wounds, early in the day, but when, after the Irish had fairly beat the Dutchman back all day, they made up their minds to march away at night, I had to lave my patients and be off too. Then I was shut up in Limerick; and I was not idle there, as you may guess. When at last the surrender came, I managed to slip away, having no fancy for going over with the regiments that were to enter the service of France. I thought I could have gone ...
— A Jacobite Exile - Being the Adventures of a Young Englishman in the Service of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden • G. A. Henty

... little boy named Fountain, also staying with me at school during the vacation, and he too stole after us unperceived, and when I and my companions had swam to middle of the lake, the imprudent little fellow also stripped and went into the water. There were some idle stragglers looking on, and when I was far, very far from the sport, the fearful shout came along the level surface, of "Help, help, he is drowning!" and with dreadful distinctness, as if the voice had been shrieked into my very ears, ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... and art of nations will be no longer merely national, but world possessions, when wars shall have ceased and the policy of aggression have come to be regarded as an evil thing, when, in a word, the brotherhood of man shall be no longer an idle dream, a mere speculative aspiration which no practical person ever expected to see realised, but an actuality within measurable distance of being accomplished. All these things may as yet be dreams, but let us ...
— The Empire of the East • H. B. Montgomery

... his voice sad. "Not a thing! My Svengali pass didn't work. I was as the idle wind to her. Therefore, I ...
— Money Magic - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... was, indeed, a disconcerting crowd gathered round the chief entrance, but Robert was like a general, cool and vigorous, strung up to the finest pitch of cunning. He wormed his way under the ropes, he edged and insinuated himself between the idle and good-natured onlookers, with Cosgrave, tossed and buffeted, but still in tow, struggling in the backwash. At last they were through, next to the entrance, and in the very front ...
— The Dark House • I. A. R. Wylie

... himself the conversations they had had, of no consequence, the idle gossip of a stray half-hour; but each word was opulent in the charming smile, in the caressing glance of her eyes. He was able to imagine Mrs. Wallace quite close to him, wearing the things that he had seen ...
— The Hero • William Somerset Maugham

... sham," said Dyke. "I don't think I used to be idle, but this hot sun has stewed all the spirit out ...
— Diamond Dyke - The Lone Farm on the Veldt - Story of South African Adventure • George Manville Fenn

... Olaf think of allowing his Uncle Sigurd to take the punishment for his crime. He knew that Sigurd had made no idle offer when he had said that he would give up his life for his sake; but Sigurd was guiltless, and it would be a coward's act to allow him to make this sacrifice. With all his newborn hopes burning within him, it was a hard thing for Olaf ...
— Olaf the Glorious - A Story of the Viking Age • Robert Leighton

... vista betrayed the presence of scouting party or vedette. But there were no symptoms of unusual excitement, no sign of working parties, of reinforcements for the advanced posts, of the construction of earthworks or abattis. Pope's camps were scattered over a wide tract of country, his cavalry was idle, and it seemed absolutely certain that he was unconscious of the near neighbourhood of the ...
— Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War • G. F. R. Henderson

... be ever so much more attractive than the young women I hear of, who have seen and known a great deal too much,' answered the dowager; and as her granddaughter knew that Lady Maulevrier's word was a law that altered not, there was no more idle repinings. ...
— Phantom Fortune, A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... by chance one day in Spring Through Devon he went wandering And for an idle moment stood Upon the edge of Daccombe wood, Where bluebells almost hid the green, With the last primroses between, He bit his lip and turned away And could do no more work ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 158, May 26, 1920 • Various

... not at all afraid of the diphtheria, and as Delight is perfectly well, she can begin her lessons just as we planned to do. This will keep her interested and prevent her from worrying as much as if she were idle. And then, if anything should happen, I will be there to assist ...
— Marjorie's New Friend • Carolyn Wells

... enough for Rouletabille; he had had enough of it! This idle gossip and these living bombs! These pinchbecks, these whispering tale-tellers in their bourgeois, countrified setting; these politico-police combinations whose grotesque side was always uppermost; while the terrible side, the Siberian aspect, ...
— The Secret of the Night • Gaston Leroux

... said in deprecation of the waste of fertilizing matters in the city of New York, in which the writer of this pamphlet has conscientiously joined; because, he thought it wicked to commit such waste, while we were surrounded by lands lying idle, for the want of these very substances. Precious, however, as they would be to the farmer, he cannot afford to use them. That is, it would be poor economy for a Long Island farmer, no matter how near the city, to ...
— Guano - A Treatise of Practical Information for Farmers • Solon Robinson

... her mother, the trained nurse, and the child. But instead of the "mild climate," Pasadena happened to be raw and rainy. She disliked the hotel, and the hosts of idle, overdressed, and vulgar women. So her mother brought her back, as we have seen, and then there was talk of the Virginia Springs, "an excellent ...
— Together • Robert Herrick (1868-1938)

... illness, as he sat by the stove, the memory of Emma Byers came to him often. She had left that district twenty-eight years ago, and had married, and lived in Chicago somewhere, he had heard, and was prosperous. He wasted no time in idle regrets. He had been a fool, and he paid the price of fools. Bella, slamming noisily about the room, never suspected the presence in the untidy place of a third person—a sturdy girl of twenty-two or -three, very wholesome to look ...
— One Basket • Edna Ferber

... we are neither free nor sufficiently enlightened, that we submit to be cheated in our bargains; that the laborer pays the duties levied by the prestige of power and the selfishness of talent upon the curiosity of the idle, and that we are perpetually scandalized by these monstrous inequalities which are encouraged and applauded ...
— What is Property? - An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government • P. J. Proudhon

... the engine measured. This plant for the testing of engines might have been used with valuable results, but for one hindrance—the makers of engines were unwilling to send them to the factory to be tested, and the plant remained idle. There was a misunderstanding, which after a time became acute, between the factory and the private makers of aircraft. The factory, zealous for the public interest, believed that it could best serve their interest by encouraging, supervising, and co-ordinating ...
— The War in the Air; Vol. 1 - The Part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force • Walter Raleigh

... and, much as she loved the sport, to ride no more till Peter should return. So she gave out that she had hurt her knee, which made the saddle painful to her, and the beautiful Spanish mare was left idle in the stable, or ...
— Fair Margaret • H. Rider Haggard

... accomplished in one hundred minutes by the powerful Laxton horses. Magnificent was the Laxton turn-out; and in the roomy travelling coach of Lady Carbery, made large enough to receive upon occasion even a bed, it would have been an idle scruple to fear the crowding a party which mustered only three besides myself. For Lord Massey uniformly declined joining us; in which I believe that he was right. A schoolboy like myself had fortunately no dignity to lose. But Lord Massey, a needy Irish peer (or, strictly speaking, since the Union ...
— Memorials and Other Papers • Thomas de Quincey

... course of the day, that a strong body of the Metropolitan A division of police was stationed at Slough, in plain clothes (as we are informed), to be in readiness to assist the local authorities, in the event of their services being required, it being expected that a mob, composed of the idle and lazy of the two towns, might, in the course of the evening, show some disposition to create a disturbance. The abolition of Montem is not only considered to be a most unpopular proceeding on the part of ...
— Gossip in the First Decade of Victoria's Reign • John Ashton

... travelling circus-van which came to Oxford, and now the memory of the scene returned to him when he looked at his lady's face. He had not known a human countenance could express such fierce, terrible rage. A quiver ran through him. Yes, this was no idle boast of an angry woman—he felt those slender hands would indeed be capable of dealing death to any one who robbed her of ...
— Three Weeks • Elinor Glyn

... idle and impracticable over his legal studies, which no persuasion would make him view as otherwise than a sort of nominal training for a country gentleman; nor had he ever believed or acted upon the ...
— Chantry House • Charlotte M. Yonge

... And thus was this idle quarrel made up. All that vexes me on the occasion is, that it was not made up with dignity on my lord's part. His honest heart so overflowed with joy at his lips, that the naughty creature, by her arch leers, ...
— The History of Sir Charles Grandison, Volume 4 (of 7) • Samuel Richardson

... did, Sir Charles," Finglemore answered, rubbing his hands somewhat nervously. "But he never went there. Being an idle young dog, with a taste for amusement, he got for the time no further than Paris. Since then, he's hung about a bit, here, there, and everywhere, and done no particular good for himself or his family. But about three or four years ago he somehow 'struck ile': he went to South ...
— An African Millionaire - Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay • Grant Allen

... fourteen and thirty. In all, only 6,874 of these young toilers, who earn on an average six dollars a week, are provided with vacation outings. They are usually given vacations, with or without pay, but they spend the idle time at Coney Island, on excursion boats, ...
— What eight million women want • Rheta Childe Dorr

... from the fireside, and dissipates the idle illusions of conversation, except under certain conditions. Let us say that the conditions are: a house in the country, with some forest trees near, and a few evergreens, which are Christmas-trees all winter long, fringed with snow, glistening with ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... good to ride and run, To roam the greenwood wild and free; To hunt, to idle in the sun, To leap into the ...
— Ballads of a Bohemian • Robert W. Service

... tenth dozen, when, exhausted, he gave up, and let M. Laperte go on alone. This gentleman managed to eat thirty-two dozen within an hour, and would doubtless have got through more, but the person who opened them is described as not being very skilful. In the interim Savarin was idle, and at length, tired with his painful state of inaction, he said to Laperte, whilst the latter was still in full career, "Mon cher, you will not eat as many oysters to-day as you meant; let us dine." They dined, and the insatiable oyster-eater ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... Ireland. These were Dr. Browne of Dublin, Dr. Staples of Meath, and Dr. Bale of Ossory. The latter writing of the former in 1553, excuses the corruption of his own reformed clergy, by stating that "they would at no hand obey; alleging for their vain and idle excuse, the lewd example of the Archbishop of Dublin, who was always slack in things pertaining to God's glory." He calls him "an epicurious archbishop, a brockish swine, and a dissembling proselyte," and accuses him in plain terms of "drunkenness and gluttony." Dr. Browne accuses ...
— An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 • Mary Frances Cusack

... more blessed to give than to receive, my child. Happy are they who have the power to confer benefits, and who do so with willing hearts. I fear, however, that you will find your task a difficult one. Everywhere are the idle and undeserving, and these are more apt to force themselves forward as objects of benevolence than the truly needy and meritorious. As I know every one in the village, perhaps I may be able to guide you to such objects ...
— Heart-Histories and Life-Pictures • T. S. Arthur

... as much pleasure as a child that has turned scolding into praise. "I'm delighted about it in more ways than one. It will give employment to our unskilled hands, who are now idle half the time. Even the children can turn a penny on their ...
— Joyce's Investments - A Story for Girls • Fannie E. Newberry

... all was a reek of powder-smoke; the stout pickets quivered to the pelting balls—every loop-hole was a target. Never did a garrison work harder; there was not an idle hand, for the ...
— Boys' Book of Frontier Fighters • Edwin L. Sabin

... to fail. The public had now had enough of the affair. Everything was failing, now they would have to see if they could not come to some arrangement. Starvation was beginning to thrust its grinning head among the fifty thousand men now idle. The moment had come upon which capital was counting; the moment when the crying of children for bread begins to break the will of the workers, until they are ready to sacrifice honor and independence in order to satisfy the little creatures' hunger. And the enemy showed no sign ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... familiar, one might suppose, to need comment, but such irreconcilable views have been held by different authorities, from Dr. Johnson onwards, that it may not be idle to attempt to view the work critically in relation to ...
— Pastoral Poetry and Pastoral Drama - A Literary Inquiry, with Special Reference to the Pre-Restoration - Stage in England • Walter W. Greg

... deepens in my mind with every hour: this was never Christ's city. The confusion, the shallow curiosity, the self-interest, the clashing prejudices, the inaccessibility of the idle and busy multitudes were the same in His day that they are now. It was not here that Jesus found the men and women who believed in Him and loved Him, but in the quiet villages, among the green fields, by the peaceful lake-shores. And it is not here that we shall find the clearest ...
— Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land - Impressions of Travel in Body and Spirit • Henry Van Dyke

... shall be going away. You see, Mrs. Henriksen, I should very much have liked to stay, because this is really where I belong; but what more can I do here? I don't work; I merely idle. Do you understand me? I grieve continually, and my heart sits wrinkled. My most brilliant achievement is spinning coins: I toss a coin into the air and wait. When I came here last autumn I wasn't ...
— Look Back on Happiness • Knut Hamsun

... and face the boys or sleep nights with Pat's hand reaching for me in the dark to remind me of my word? Can't you see where I stand? Do you think I could look Lorry in the face when he knew that I sat idle while the man that murdered Pat was riding the ...
— Jim Waring of Sonora-Town - Tang of Life • Knibbs, Henry Herbert

... remarkable instances; we had been forced to dismiss an audience of a hundred and fifty pounds, from a disturbance spirited up, by obscure people, who never gave any better reason for it than that it was their fancy to support the idle complaint of one rival actress against another, in their several pretensions to the chief part in a new tragedy. But as this tumult seemed only to be the wantonness of English liberty, I shall not presume to lay ...
— A History of Pantomime • R. J. Broadbent

... remarkable that 'the Almighty' only receives prayers at the new moon (of sacrifice to the Almighty he says nothing), and that, being the creator and preserver of all things, he is 'of so exalted a nature that it is idle to imagine the feeble supplications of wretched mortals can reverse the decrees and change the purpose of unerring Wisdom.' The new moon prayers are mere matters of tradition; 'our fathers did it before ...
— The Making of Religion • Andrew Lang

... regiment, which has made itself a name throughout all Europe, there are half a score of Scottish regiments in the service of the King of Sweden, and his gracious majesty Gustavus Adolphus does not keep them idle, I warrant you." ...
— The Lion of the North • G.A. Henty

... object or a limited time, in return for subsidies and for our assurance (which you know to be a very sincere one) of wishing to procure for them important acquisitions. The question of Hanover may I think be left aloof. As to plans of operations, it is almost idle to say anything. But you will have seen that we think the first and essential point is to act (as Prussia seems to intend) with a force sure of success in the rear of the French Army in Germany. ...
— William Pitt and the Great War • John Holland Rose

... said, "You make no mention of Eudora; and I perceive that both you and Philothea are reserved when her name is mentioned. Do not believe every idle rumour, my son. The gayety of a light-hearted maiden is often unmixed with boldness, or crime. Do not cast ...
— Philothea - A Grecian Romance • Lydia Maria Child

... half idle yet unconsciously tactful, was one of those human things which cost so little but are worth so much. It gave Doggie ...
— The Rough Road • William John Locke

... country amply supplies all that the army needs, without its calling on its abundant reserves. I propose, Sir, to write to you twice a week, to give you the news about His Majesty, and details about the operations of the army. These communications will enable you to contradict the idle rumors which malicious persons ...
— The Happy Days of the Empress Marie Louise • Imbert De Saint-Amand

... the horse to the water, if we cannot make him drink," shouts a newsboy in her ear; and with a great deal of tugging and thumping she feels herself driven closer to her books. But idle hands make an idle brain, and the pages ...
— Golden Moments - Bright Stories for Young Folks • Anonymous

... were now firmly planted on Olympus. Along the grass lay the warm strong colours of the evening sun, reddening the pine-stems and yellowing the idle aspen-leaves. For a moment it had hung in doubt whether the pic-nic could survive the two rude shocks it had received. Happily the youthful element was large, and when the band, refreshed by chicken and sherry, threw off half-a-dozen bars of one of those irresistible ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... who had been cultivating cotton on their own hook looked on with envious eyes and empty pockets, creating a very general impression in favor of the wages system. Under this impression, I think they will fall to work gradually at similar wages to what I have been paying, but will probably lie idle a few weeks to think about it, in hopes ...
— Letters from Port Royal - Written at the Time of the Civil War (1862-1868) • Various

... De Maintenon's salons at a time when she knew the king would be present there. This stately robe invested the venerable lady's noble figure with such majesty as could not fail to inspire respect, even in the mob of idle loungers who were wont to collect in anterooms, laughing and jesting in frivolous and irreverent fashion. They all shyly made way for her; and when she entered the salon the king himself in his astonishment rose and came to meet her. As his eyes fell ...
— Weird Tales, Vol. II. • E. T. A. Hoffmann

... Temple got away from memorialists, petitioners, grievances, men of business, idle men, newsmen, and dear friends, then hastened to Alfred to unburden his mind—and to ...
— Tales and Novels, Vol. VII - Patronage • Maria Edgeworth

... to frequent a group of idle and opulent people who executed the same gestures and revolved on the same pivots as Mrs. Lidcote's daughter and her friends: their Coras, Matties and Mabels seemed at any moment likely to reveal familiar patronymics, and once one of the speakers, summing up a discussion of which ...
— Autres Temps... - 1916 • Edith Wharton

... fell on the Bambino, resting disgracefully on its wooden head. "Poor little figurine," she murmured, reaching a slender hand to draw it up. She straightened the tumbled finery absently. It slipped to her lap, and lay there. Her hands were idle, her eyes ...
— Unfinished Portraits - Stories of Musicians and Artists • Jennette Lee

... but be certain it has its defects. Your articulation is vicious, and the gestures upon which you pride yourself, are, in most cases, unnatural. Do not rely upon the fire of momentary inspiration. Nothing is more deceptive. The great Garrick said: "I do not depend upon that inspiration which idle mediocrity awaits." Talma declared that he absolutely calculated all effects, leaving nothing to chance. While he recited the scene between Augustus and Cinna, he was also performing an arithmetical operation. ...
— Delsarte System of Oratory • Various

... and their villas and theatres and baths were models of classic architecture and the scenes of unbounded luxury; the streets were narrow, provided with side-walks, the walls often decorated with painting or scribbled over by idle gamins; the number of shops witnesses to the fashion and gaiety of the town, the remains of painted notices to its municipal life; a terrible earthquake ruined it and drove out the inhabitants in A.D. ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... lately been begun, but, instead of being made with hardy, industrious husbandmen, accustomed to labor, the only people fit for such an enterprise, it was with families of broken shop-keepers and other insolvent debtors, many of indolent and idle habits, taken out of the jails, who, being set down in the woods, unqualified for clearing land, and unable to endure the hardships of a new settlement, perished in numbers, leaving many helpless children unprovided for. The sight ...
— The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin • Benjamin Franklin

... During his first idle day, Harry's attention was drawn to a handbill which had been posted up in the store, the post office, the tavern, and other public places in the village. It was to ...
— Bound to Rise • Horatio Alger



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