(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Lack of action
1. inactivity; inaction; inertness; lull, cessation (see repose); idleness, sloth, laziness, indolence, vegetation; unemployment, dilatoriness, dawdling; malingering; passiveness, passivity, dormancy; stagnation; procrastination; time on one's hands; laissez-faire, noninterference; dolce far niente, lotusland. See insensibility, indifference, avoidance.
2. (slowness of activity) dullness, languor; sluggishness, slowness, delay (see lateness); torpor, torpidity, torpescence.
3. (inactive person) idler, drone, do-little; dummy, silent partner; fifth wheel; lounger, loafer; lubber, slowpoke (see slowness); opium eater, lotus eater; slug, laggard, sluggard, ne'er-do-well, do-nothing, faineant; clock watcher, good-for-nothing; lumpenproletariat. Slang, bum, couch potato, armchair athlete.
4. (cessation of activity) halt, pause, standstill, full stop; stalemate, impasse, block, check, checkmate; red light.
1. let the grass grow under one's feet; take one's time, dawdle, lag, hang back, slouch, loll, lounge, loaf, laze, loiter, hang around; sleep at one's post or at the switch, flag, languish. Slang, hang out.
2. vegetate, lie fallow; waste, consume, kill, or lose time; twiddle one's thumbs; not lift a finger or hand; idle, trifle, fritter, or fool away the time, sit by, sit back, sit on one's hands, not move a muscle, lie down on the job; mark time, piddle, potter, putter, dabble, fiddle-faddle, dally, shilly-shally, dilly-dally; ride at anchor, rest on one's oars, rest on one's laurels; hang fire, postpone. Informal, cool one's heels. Slang, goof off, dick or fuck around, fart off, frig, lallygag, pouch out.
1. inactive; motionless, quiescent, stationary; unoccupied, out of circulation, idle, off-duty, at leisure, on the bench, unemployed; indolent, shiftless, lazy, slothful, idle, remiss, slack, torpid, sluggish, languid, supine, heavy, dull, leaden, lumpish; inert, inanimate; listless; dilatory, laggard; lagging, slow; rusty, flagging, lackadaisical, pottering, irresolute; lumpen. Slang, outplaced, involuntarily at leisure, between projects.
2. torpid, lethargic, heavy, napping; tranquilizing, soporific, hypnotic; balmy, dreamy; sedative. Slang, dopey; out of this world.
Phrases — the devil finds work for idle hands to do; the busiest men have the most leisure.
Quotations — Iron rusts from disuse... even sodoes inaction sap the vigor of the mind (Leonardo da Vinci), They also serve who only stand and wait (Milton), Idleness is the only refuge of weak minds (Lord Chesterfield), It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do (Jerome K. Jerome).
Antonyms, see activity, action.
(Roget's Thesaurus II) noun A lack of action or activity: idleness, inaction, inertness, inoperativeness, stagnation. See ACTION.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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