idleness


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See: desuetude, inaction, languor, lull, neglect, nonperformance, sloth

IDLENESS. The refusal or neglect to engage in any lawful employment, in order to gain a livelihood.
     2. The vagrant act of 17 G. II. c. 5, which, with some modifications, has been adopted, in perhaps most of the states, describes idle persons to be those who, not having wherewith to maintain themselves, live idle, without employment, and refuse to work for the usual and common, wages. These are punishable according to the different police regulations, with fine and imprisonment. In Pennsylvania, vagrancy is punished, on a conviction before a magistrate, with imprisonment for one mouth.

References in classic literature ?
But as it was her determination to subdue it, and to prevent herself from appearing to suffer more than what all her family suffered on his going away, she did not adopt the method so judiciously employed by Marianne, on a similar occasion, to augment and fix her sorrow, by seeking silence, solitude and idleness.
For, the time was to come, when the gaunt scarecrows of that region should have watched the lamplighter, in their idleness and hunger, so long, as to conceive the idea of improving on his method, and hauling up men by those ropes and pulleys, to flare upon the darkness of their condition.
They then wept and beat their breasts, crying, "This is the fruit of idleness, and of our wicked lives.
Within two years after their landing, they beheld a rival settlement attempted in their immediate neighborhood; and not long after, the laws of self- preservation compelled them to break up a nest of revellers, who boasted of protection from the mother country, and who had recurred to the easy but pernicious resource of feeding their wanton idleness, by furnishing the savages with the means, the skill, and the instruments of European destruction.
Mighty Love the hearts of maidens Doth unsettle and perplex, And the instrument he uses Most of all is idleness.
After our return to the dead city I passed several days in comparative idleness.
It chanced one day, as he was strolling down Market Street on the eve of his fortnight's holiday, that his eye was caught by certain railway bills, and in very idleness of mind he calculated that he might be home for Christmas if he started on the morrow.
But the reason why he wants sometimes to go off at a tangent may just be that he is predestined to make the road, and perhaps, too, that however stupid the "direct" practical man may be, the thought sometimes will occur to him that the road almost always does lead somewhere, and that the destination it leads to is less important than the process of making it, and that the chief thing is to save the well-conducted child from despising engineering, and so giving way to the fatal idleness, which, as we all know, is the mother of all the vices.
The youth, still the bearer of the colors, did not feel his idleness.
Darcy had described as the idleness and vice of many years' continuance.
There are regrets, memories, the instinctive longing for the departed idleness, the instinctive hate of all work.
You can perhaps hardly understand the effect of that word on a mind like Hetty's, brought up among people who were somewhat hard in their feelings even towards poverty, who lived among the fields, and had little pity for want and rags as a cruel inevitable fate such as they sometimes seem in cities, but held them a mark of idleness and vice--and it was idleness and vice that brought burdens on the parish.