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.
- To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly
- 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):
- 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.