This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term. First attested around 1656; variant of daddle ("to walk unsteadily"), perhaps influenced by daw, since the bird was regarded as sluggish and silly. Not in general use until around 1775.
- (intransitive) To spend time idly and unfruitfully, to waste time.
2011 October 29, Neil Johnston, “Norwich 3 - 3 Blackburn”, in BBC Sport:
- However all Hennessey's good work went to waste on 52 minutes when he dawdled on the ball.
- Come some evening and dawdle over a dish of tea with me.
- (transitive) To spend (time) without haste or purpose.
- to dawdle away the whole morning
- (intransitive) To move or walk lackadaisically.
- If you dawdle on your daily walk, you won't get as much exercise.
- We […] dawdle up and down Pall Mall.
dawdle (plural dawdles)