loafing


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loaf 1

 (lōf)
n. pl. loaves (lōvz)
1. A shaped mass of bread baked in one piece.
2. A shaped, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food: veal loaf.

[Middle English lof, from Old English hlāf, from Proto-Germanic *hlaibaz, perhaps from the same European substrate source as Greek klībanos, krībanos, earthen vessel for baking, tandoor.]
Word History: Loaf, lord, and lady are closely related words that testify to bread's fundamental importance in the Middle Ages. Curiously, though bread was a staple food in many Indo-European cultures, loaf and its cognates occur only in the Germanic languages, and lord and lady only in English. Loaf derives from Old English hlāf, "bread, loaf of bread," related to Gothic hlaifs, Old Norse hleifr, and Modern German Laib, all of which mean "loaf of bread." Hlāf survives in Lammas, originally Hlāfmaesse, "Loaf-Mass," the Christian Feast of the First Fruits, traditionally celebrated on August 1. Lord comes from Old English hlāford, a compound meaning "loaf-ward, keeper of bread," because a lord maintains and feeds his household and offers hospitality. Similarly, lady derives from Old English hlǣfdige, which became lady by 1382. The -dige comes from dæge, "kneader," and is related to our dough. A lady, therefore, is "a kneader of bread, a breadmaker." Lord and lady both retain vestiges of their original meanings, although England's aristocrats have not been elbow deep in flour, let alone dough, for several centuries.

loaf 2

 (lōf)
intr.v. loafed, loaf·ing, loafs
To pass time at leisure; idle.

[Probably back-formation from loafer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.loafing - having no employmentloafing - having no employment      
inactivity - being inactive; being less active
dolce far niente - carefree idleness
References in classic literature ?
It was at the end of a week of this sort of waiting, roaming about in the bitter winds or loafing in saloons, that Jurgis stumbled on a chance in one of the cellars of Jones's big packing plant.
Everybody was out-of-doors; everybody was in the principal street of the village--not on the sidewalks, but all over the street; everybody was lounging, loafing, chatting, waiting, alert, expectant, interested--for it was train-time.
Enough anti-rummies were loafing in quarters to man the engine and the ladders.
A man brought me something yesterday, and then stood loafing in a beggarly manner.
The wife died of cholera in Ferozepore, and O'Hara fell to drink and loafing up and down the line with the keen-eyed three-year-old baby.
As it pulled up, one of the loafing men at the corner dashed forward to open the door in the hope of earning a copper, but was elbowed away by another loafer, who had rushed up with the same intention.
Our guards--two gorgeous young Arab sheiks, with cargoes of swords, guns, pistols and daggers on board--were loafing ahead.
Old battered men loafing at the doors of public-houses now seemed to be his fellows, and he felt, as he supposed them to feel, a mingling of envy and hatred towards those who passed quickly and certainly to a goal of their own.
Had he not, only a few days before, seen Carmack loafing with his Indians and with never a thought of prospecting?
And, as usual, the fifty niggers on board were on deck, loafing, talking, smoking, and sleeping.
Life had a thousand faces, and White Fang found he must meet them all--thus, when he went to town, in to San Jose, running behind the carriage or loafing about the streets when the carriage stopped.
     The loafing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;