Also found in: Thesaurus.
Related to dilly-dallying: intermingled, detract from, overseeing, protruded


intr.v. dil·ly-dal·lied, dil·ly-dal·lying, dil·ly-dal·lies
To waste time, especially in indecision; dawdle or vacillate.

[Reduplication of dally.]

dil′ly-dal′li·er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. wasting time by being indecisive
2. archaic loitering; dawdling
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


[ˈdɪlɪdælɪɪŋ] N
1. (= loitering) → pérdida f de tiempo
2. (= hesitation) → vacilación f, titubeo m
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005
References in classic literature ?
"For not dilly-dallying and not hanging to a woman's apron strings.
Former president of the National Federation of Small Farmers, Uddhav Adhikari said that although the youths' attraction is increasing towards agriculture sector, the commercial banks were showing reluctance to issue loans to agriculture sector, either through cumbersome loan issuance process or dilly-dallying. NRB had released the Monetary Policy on July 24.
They maintained that the government had been dilly-dallying on the issuance of the relevant notification.
What has changed now that the vice president and Tinubu are dilly-dallying over restructuring?
Supreme Court those who did not allow to have a Lokayukta in his home state of Gujarat had to ultimately appoint Lokpal in the country after 5 years of dilly-dallying. Justice Pinaki Ghose today took oath as first Lokpal of India.
'Since the courts know that nothing can be proved against Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi and Naheeda Nasreen, these dilly-dallying tactics are being used to keep them behind the bars,' she added.
Camilleri asked O'Sullivan to help him, but was told: "I'm not standing there while you are dilly-dallying, it's your job."
Pakistan's team lead by its finance minister had been dilly-dallying whether or not to go to the IMF.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday expressed hopes the Chinese would keep their word of signing a code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea in three years-though he also took a swipe at Beijing's dilly-dallying.
The delay of the issuance of an arrest order against Marcos is dilly-dallying justice that should have been served quickly and decisively," it said Wednesday.
Matthysse, 35, didn't waste time dilly-dallying upon his return from a whirlwind promotional tour of his Pacquiao showdown in Manila and Kuala Lumpur last month.
Meanwhile, after a meeting the BN's election machinery for the Tebrau parliamentary constituency, Liow slammed DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang for dilly-dallying about where he will be contesting in GE14.