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From Middle English loitren, from Middle Dutch loteren(to shake, wag, wobble), ultimately connected with a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *lūtaną(to bend, stoop, cower, shrink from, decline), see lout. Cognate with Modern Dutch leuteren(to dawdle), Alemannic German lottern(to wobble), German Lotterbube(rascal). More at lout, little.



loiter (third-person singular simple present loiters, present participle loitering, simple past and past participle loitered)

  1. To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly; to linger; to hang around.
    For some reason, they discourage loitering outside the store, but encourage it inside.
    • 2015 January 31, Daniel Taylor, “David Silva seizes point for Manchester City as Chelsea are checked”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Agüero, as usual, was loitering with intent and swung his left foot at the ball. The shot was going wide but Silva was there to apply the decisive touch inside the six-yard area.