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Usage notes[edit]

The phrase meaning to pass time idly is while away. We can trace the meaning in an adjectival sense for while back to Old English, hwīlenpassing, transitory. We also see it in the whilendtemporary, transitory. But since wile away happens so often, it is now included in many dictionaries. As can be seen above, wile is a noun—meaning (1) trickery, deception or (2) a disarming or seductive manner — and as a verb meaning to entice or lure. None of these meanings has anything to do with idly passing time, so wile away doesn’t make logical sense. References:

--AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 19:12, 12 January 2012 (UTC)