loiter

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loiter

v. to linger or hang around in a public place or business where one has no particular or legal purpose. In many states, cities, and towns there are statutes or ordinances against loitering by which the police can arrest someone who refuses to "move along." There is a question as to whether such laws are constitutional. However, there is often another criminal statute or ordinance which can be applied specifically to control aggressive begging, soliciting prostitution, drug dealing, blocking entries to stores, public drunkenness, or being a public nuisance.

loiter

verb be idle, be vagrant, cessare, hang around, idle, linger, move aimlessly, pass time in idleness, poke, stand around, tarry, wander aimlessly
Associated concepts: vagrancy
See also: delay, pause, procrastinate, prowl
References in periodicals archive ?
After their cooperation on The Loiterer, James's and Henry's paths diverged, and their literary ambitions were submerged beneath the business of earning a living.
As for the Loiterer, its editor announced just before the weekly came to a close: "Those Subscribers who wish to collect these Essays into volumes, may be furnished in the course of a few weeks with a Table of Contents, Errata, &c, by applying to Mess.
Morales(1) that Chicago's anti-gang loitering ordinance--authorizing the police to disperse groups of loiterers containing criminal street gang members(2)--was unconstitutionally vague, Harvey Grossman, the attorney who had argued the case for the winning side, called the decision "a victory for `young men of color.
It was only a matter of time until the tension grew between the jobless browsers and loiterers from the banlieues and the tony merchants downtown.
Even though loiterers are not subject to arrest unless they disobey a dispersal order, the loitering is the conduct that the ordinance is designed to prohibit.
031 ARREST WITHOUT WARRANT Any sheriff, policeman or other law enforcement officer may arrest any suspected loiterer or prowler without a warrant in case delay in procuring one would probably enable such suspected loiterer or prowler to escape arrest.
2) The crime occurred when a loiterer disobeyed a police officer's order to disperse.
Prostitutes are among the disorderly--they are among "the disreputable or obstreperous or unpredictable people: panhandlers, drunks, addicts, rowdy teenagers, prostitutes, loiterers, the mentally disturbed.
For example, in 1992 the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance empowering police officers to order groups of "loiterers" to disperse or face arrest whenever the officer reasonably believes one of the loiterers is a gang member.
It also criticized the law for requiring only that the arresting officer have a reasonable belief that one of the persons in the group of loiterers is a gang member.
Unexpectedly, merchants, including some of the most chronic violators, improved their business operations by checking identification and discouraging drunken loiterers.
But, as George Kelling and Catherine Coles observe in the Summer Public Interest, many of the useful things police do to improve communities--asking tenants to turn down noisy stereos, suggesting that loiterers move on, detaining aggressive panhandlers--do more to help citizens feel safe and secure than SWAT teams or other flashy efforts.