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ATS Bible Dictionary

In Matthew 12:36, means empty and fruitless. The "idle word" which Christ condemns, is a word morally useless and evil.

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (superl.) of no account; useless; vain; trifling; unprofitable; thoughtless; silly; barren.

2. (superl.) Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate use; unemployed; as, idle hours.

3. (superl.) Not employed; unoccupied with business; inactive; doing nothing; as, idle workmen.

4. (superl.) Given rest and ease; averse to labor or employment; lazy; slothful; as, an idle fellow.

5. (superl.) Light-headed; foolish.

6. (v. i.) To lose or spend time in inaction, or without being employed in business.

7. (v. t.) To spend in idleness; to waste; to consume; -- often followed by away; as, to idle away an hour a day.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

i'-d'-l, i'-d'-l-nes: Both words, adjective and noun, render different Hebrew words (from `atsel, "to be lazy," raphah, "to relax," and shaqaT, "to be quiet"). According to the Yahwistic narrative Pharaoh's retort to the complaints of the Israelites was a charge of indolence (Exodus 5:8, 17). It was a favorite thought of Hebrew wisdom-practical philosophy of life-that indolence inevitably led to poverty and want (Proverbs 19:15 Ecclesiastes 10:18). The "virtuous woman" was one who would not eat the "bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:27). In Ezekiel 16:49 for the King James Version "abundance of idleness," the Revised Version (British and American) has "prosperous ease." In the New Testament "idle" generally renders the Greek word argos, literally, "inactive," "useless" (Matthew 20:3, 6). In Luke 24:11 "idle talk" corresponds to one Greek word which means "empty gossip" or "nonsensical talk."

T. Lewis

691. argeo -- to be idle
... to be idle. Part of Speech: Verb Transliteration: argeo Phonetic Spelling:
(arg-eh'-o) Short Definition: I linger, delay, am idle Definition: I linger, delay ...
// - 6k

692. argos -- inactive, idle
... inactive, idle. Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: argos Phonetic Spelling:
(ar-gos') Short Definition: idle, lazy, thoughtless Definition: idle, lazy ...
// - 6k

3150. mataiologia -- idle or foolish talk
... idle or foolish talk. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: mataiologia
Phonetic Spelling: (mat-ah-yol-og-ee'-ah) Short Definition: foolish talking ...
// - 6k

3636. okneros -- shrinking, timid, hence idle, lazy, troublesome
... shrinking, timid, hence idle, lazy, troublesome. Part of Speech: Adjective
Transliteration: okneros Phonetic Spelling: (ok-nay-ros') Short Definition: slothful ...
// - 7k

2673. katargeo -- to render inoperative, abolish
... Transliteration: katargeo Phonetic Spelling: (kat-arg-eh'-o) Short Definition: I
bring to naught, sever, abolish Definition: (a) I make idle (inactive), make ...
// - 9k

3026. leros -- silly talk
... silly talk. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: leros Phonetic Spelling:
(lay'-ros) Short Definition: folly, nonsense, idle talk Definition: folly ...
// - 6k

3454. muthos -- a speech, story, ie a fable
... a speech, story, ie a fable. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: muthos
Phonetic Spelling: (moo'-thos) Short Definition: an idle tale, fable ...
// - 6k

3151. mataiologos -- talking idly
... vain talker. From mataios and lego; an idle (ie Senseless or mischievous) talker,
ie A wrangler -- vain talker. see GREEK mataios. see GREEK lego. ...
// - 6k

812. atakteo -- to be out of order, be remiss
... I behave disorderly Definition: (lit: I march out of order; then: I riot, rebel),
behave disorderly, neglect my duty, am careless (or idle) in habits. ...
// - 6k

4691. spermologos -- a seed picker, fig. one who picks up scraps ...
... Definition a seed picker, fig. one who picks up scraps of knowledge NASB
Word Usage idle babbler (1). babbler. From sperma and lego ...
// - 6k

Strong's Hebrew
907. bad -- empty, idle talk
... 906, 907. bad. 908 . empty, idle talk. Transliteration: bad Phonetic
Spelling: (bad) Short Definition: boasts. Word Origin from ...
/hebrew/907.htm - 6k

7423b. remiyyah -- laxness, slackness
... 7423a, 7423b. remiyyah. 7424 . laxness, slackness. Transliteration:
remiyyah Short Definition: idle. Word Origin from an unused ...
/hebrew/7423b.htm - 5k

988. batal -- to cease
... batal. 989 . to cease. Transliteration: batal Phonetic Spelling: (baw-tale') Short
Definition: idle. ... root Definition to cease NASB Word Usage stand idle (1). ...
/hebrew/988.htm - 5k

2308. chadal -- to cease
... A primitive root; properly, to be flabby, ie (by implication) desist; (figuratively)
be lacking or idle -- cease, end, fall, forbear, forsake, leave (off), let ...
/hebrew/2308.htm - 6k

2311. Chadlay -- an Ephraimite
... Word Origin from chedel Definition an Ephraimite NASB Word Usage Hadlai (1). Hadlai.
From chedel; idle; Chadlai, an Israelite -- Hadlai. see HEBREW chedel. ...
/hebrew/2311.htm - 6k

7386. req -- empty, vain
... Word Origin from riq Definition empty, vain NASB Word Usage emptied (1), empty
(6), foolish ones (1), idle (1), satisfied (1), worthless (4). ...
/hebrew/7386.htm - 6k

7503. raphah -- sink, relax
... in many applications, literal or figurative) -- abate, cease, consume, draw (toward
evening), fail, (be) faint, be (wax) feeble, forsake, idle, leave, let ...
/hebrew/7503.htm - 6k

7423. rmiyah -- deceit, treachery
... remissness, treachery From ramah; remissness, treachery -- deceit(- ful, -fully),
false, guile, idle, slack, slothful. see HEBREW ramah. 7422, 7423. ...
/hebrew/7423.htm - 5k

3027. yad -- hand
... 859), handed (1), hands (303), hands* (1), have* (1), help* (1), helpless* (1),
herself (1), himself (1), hold* (1), human agency (1), idle* (1), influence (1 ...
/hebrew/3027.htm - 8k

5117. nuach -- to rest
... 1), (1), forsake (1), free (1), free space (2), give comfort (1), give
rest (17), given rest (3), gives rest (1), had rest (1), idle* (1), laid (2 ...
/hebrew/5117.htm - 7k


Watching for Idle Boys
... WATCHING FOR IDLE BOYS. ... He not only had been caught idling himself, but playing a
mean trick. That was a lesson for him: he never watched for idle boys again. ...
/.../chidley/fifty-two story talks to boys and girls/watching for idle boys.htm

The Tenth Chapter: Avoiding Idle Talk
Idle Talk. SHUN the gossip of men as much as possible ...
/.../kempis/the imitation of christ/the tenth chapter avoiding idle.htm

The Same Old Man's Rebuke when He Saw How the Brethren Went to ...
... Chapter XXXI. The same old man's rebuke when he saw how the brethren went to sleep
during the spiritual conferences, and woke up when some idle story was told. ...
/.../cassian/the works of john cassian /chapter xxxi the same old.htm

But Now, if You Turn from all These Idle Debates and ...
... [Way-3-12] But now, if you turn from all these idle debates and
demonstrations of reason? But now, if you turn from all these ...
/.../law/the way to divine knowledge/way-3-12 but now if you.htm

With this we are Delighted Because it is Absolutely Impossible ...
... THE THIRD CENTURY 65 With this we are delighted because it is absolutely impossible
that any Power dwelling with Love should continue idle. ...
/.../traherne/centuries of meditations/65 with this we are.htm

Being Swallowed up Therefore in the Miserable Gulf of Idle Talk ...
... THE THIRD CENTURY 14 Being swallowed up therefore in the miserable gulf of idle
talk and worthless vanities. Being swallowed up therefore ...
/.../traherne/centuries of meditations/14 being swallowed up therefore.htm

Books for Sunday Schools. --- 200 Mulberry-Street, New York. ...
... BOOKS FOR SUNDAY SCHOOLS. "- 200 Mulberry-street, New York. ""- IDLE DICK
AND POOR WATCHMAKER. Originally written in French, by Rev. ...
/.../stories of boys and girls who loved the saviour/books for sunday schools -.htm

How Kindness Should be Shown Even to the Idle and Careless.
... Prolegomena. Chapter XV. How kindness should be shown even to the idle
and careless. Nevertheless, like a far-sighted and careful ...
/.../cassian/the works of john cassian /chapter xv how kindness should.htm

Of Him whom the Superior came Upon and Found in his Cell, Deluded ...
... Prolegomena. Chapter XVI. Of him whom the superior came upon and found in
his cell, deluded by idle vainglory. I remember an elder ...
/.../cassian/the works of john cassian /chapter xvi of him whom.htm

Sermon for Septuagesima Sunday
... But when it was quite late in the evening he went out again, and still found men
standing idle. Then he said unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? ...
/.../ix sermon for septuagesima sunday.htm

Idle (33 Occurrences)
... 2. (superl.) Not called into active service; not turned to appropriate
use; unemployed; as, idle hours. 3. (superl.) Not employed ...
/i/idle.htm - 18k

Idleness (4 Occurrences)
... (n.) The condition or quality of being idle (in the various senses of that word);
uselessness; fruitlessness; triviality; inactivity; laziness. ...IDLE; IDLENESS. ...
/i/idleness.htm - 9k

Lazy (10 Occurrences)
... Noah Webster's Dictionary 1. (superl.) Disinclined to action or exertion; averse
to labor; idle; shirking work. ... Exodus 5:17 But he said, "You are idle! ...
/l/lazy.htm - 9k

Tale (7 Occurrences)
... the words of a favorite hymn or passage (Psalm 1:2). The disciples considered the
account given by the women in regard to the resurrection as "idle tales" (the ...
/t/tale.htm - 12k

Dream (82 Occurrences)
... 2. (n.) A visionary scheme; a wild conceit; an idle fancy; a vagary; a revery; --
in this sense, applied to an imaginary or anticipated state of happiness; as ...
/d/dream.htm - 47k

Standing (334 Occurrences)
... Matthew 20:3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle
in the marketplace. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV). ...
/s/standing.htm - 36k

Solomon (277 Occurrences)
... The idle king living among these idle women, for 1,000 women, with all their idle
and mischievous attendants, filled the palaces and pleasure-houses which he ...
/s/solomon.htm - 101k

Gadding (1 Occurrence)
... Multi-Version Concordance Gadding (1 Occurrence). 1 Timothy 5:13 Besides,
they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. ...
/g/gadding.htm - 6k

Gossip (7 Occurrences)
... 3. (n.) One who runs house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler. ...
8. (vi) To run about and tattle; to tell idle tales. Multi-Version Concordance ...
/g/gossip.htm - 9k

Gossips (5 Occurrences)
... (See NAS). 1 Timothy 5:13 Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about
from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and ...
/g/gossips.htm - 7k

What does the Bible say about idleness/being idle? |

Is “idle hands are the devil's workshop” a biblical statement? |

What are idle words (Matthew 12:36)? |

Idle: Dictionary and Thesaurus |

Bible ConcordanceBible DictionaryBible EncyclopediaTopical BibleBible Thesuarus
Idle (33 Occurrences)

Matthew 12:36
I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

Matthew 20:3
He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.

Matthew 20:6
About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them,'Why do you stand here all day idle?'

Mark 7:7
But idle is their devotion while they lay down precepts which are mere human rules.'

Luke 24:11
And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

John 12:19
The result was that the Pharisees said among themselves, "Observe how idle all your efforts are! The world is gone after him!"

Acts 17:5
But the jealousy of the Jews was aroused, and, calling to their aid some ill-conditioned and idle fellows, they got together a riotous mob and filled the city with uproar. They then attacked the house of Jason and searched for Paul and Silas, to bring them out before the assembly of people.

Acts 17:18
Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also were conversing with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be advocating foreign deities," because he preached Jesus and the resurrection.
(See NAS)

2 Corinthians 9:3
Still I send the brethren in order that in this matter our boast about you may not turn out to have been an idle one; so that, as I have said, you may be ready;

Colossians 2:8
Take care lest there be some one who leads you away as prisoners by means of his philosophy and idle fancies, following human traditions and the world's crude notions instead of following Christ.

Colossians 2:18
Let no one defraud you of your prize, priding himself on his humility and on his worship of the angels, and taking his stand on the visions he has seen, and idly puffed up with his unspiritual thoughts.
(See NIV)

1 Thessalonians 5:14
We exhort you, brothers, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient toward all.

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in rebellion, and not after the tradition which they received from us.

2 Thessalonians 3:7
For you know how you ought to imitate us. For we didn't behave ourselves rebelliously among you,

2 Thessalonians 3:11
For we hear that there are some of you who live disorderly lives and are mere idle busybodies.

1 Timothy 5:13
Besides, they also learn to be idle, going about from house to house. Not only idle, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

Titus 1:10
For there are many that spurn authority--idle, talkative and deceitful persons, who, for the most part, are adherents of the Circumcision.

Titus 1:12
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, and idle gluttons."

James 2:20
But, idle boaster, are you willing to be taught how it is that faith apart from obedience is worthless? Take the case of Abraham our forefather.

2 Peter 1:8
For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 2:3
And through covetousness, with well-turned words, will they make merchandise of you: for whom judgment of old is not idle, and their destruction slumbers not.

3 John 1:10
For this reason, if I come, I shall not forget his conduct, nor his idle and mischievous talk against us. And he does not stop there: he not only will not receive the brethren, but those who desire to do this he hinders, and excludes them from the Church.

Exodus 5:8
The number of the bricks, which they made before, you require from them. You shall not diminish anything of it, for they are idle; therefore they cry, saying,'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'

Exodus 5:17
But he said, "You are idle! You are idle! Therefore you say,'Let us go and sacrifice to Yahweh.'

Deuteronomy 32:47
For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it."

Proverbs 19:15
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep. The idle soul shall suffer hunger. Isaiah

Ecclesiastes 10:18
By slothfulness the roof sinks in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaks.

Ecclesiastes 11:6
In the morning put your seed into the earth, and till the evening let not your hand be at rest; because you are not certain which will do well, this or that--or if the two will be equally good.

Ecclesiastes 12:3
In the day when the keepers of the house are shaking for fear, and the strong men are bent down, and the women who were crushing the grain are at rest because their number is small, and those looking out of the windows are unable to see;
(See NAS)

Isaiah 16:6
We have had word of the pride of Moab, how great it is; how he is lifted up in pride and passion: his high words about himself are false.
(See NAS)

Isaiah 58:13
If thou turn back thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of Jehovah, honourable; and thou honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking idle words;

Jeremiah 48:30
I know his wrath, says Yahweh, that it is nothing; his boastings have worked nothing.
(See NAS)

Amos 6:5
that sing idle songs to the sound of the viol; that invent for themselves instruments of music, like David;



Idle Hands

Idle Talk

Related Terms

Idleness (4 Occurrences)

Lazy (10 Occurrences)

Tale (7 Occurrences)

Dream (82 Occurrences)

Standing (334 Occurrences)

Solomon (277 Occurrences)

Gadding (1 Occurrence)

Gossip (7 Occurrences)

Gossips (5 Occurrences)

Gossipers (1 Occurrence)

Withal (38 Occurrences)

Wandering (120 Occurrences)

Idlers (2 Occurrences)

Tattlers (1 Occurrence)

Eleventh (19 Occurrences)

Meddlers (1 Occurrence)

Mention (41 Occurrences)

People's (37 Occurrences)

Busybodies (2 Occurrences)

Busy-bodies (2 Occurrences)

Sloth (3 Occurrences)

Stood (491 Occurrences)

Merely (30 Occurrences)

Mere (56 Occurrences)

Habit (9 Occurrences)

Becoming (75 Occurrences)

Besides (178 Occurrences)

Learn (76 Occurrences)

Stand (542 Occurrences)

Forth (1639 Occurrences)

Render (95 Occurrences)

Talk (164 Occurrences)

Ought (130 Occurrences)

Hour (124 Occurrences)

Thereof (845 Occurrences)

Empire (8 Occurrences)

Quota (5 Occurrences)

Qualities (7 Occurrences)

Houses (308 Occurrences)

Vagabond (4 Occurrences)

Vapor (6 Occurrences)

Vanity (100 Occurrences)

Vagrant (2 Occurrences)

Notions (6 Occurrences)

Utter (111 Occurrences)

Unfruitful (8 Occurrences)

Unproductive (5 Occurrences)

Jangling (1 Occurrence)

Jealous (43 Occurrences)

Judgment-day (4 Occurrences)

Jealousy (54 Occurrences)

Lewd (37 Occurrences)

Leads (64 Occurrences)

Liars (14 Occurrences)

Live (3203 Occurrences)

Lounge (1 Occurrence)

Glutton (4 Occurrences)

Gluttonous (4 Occurrences)

Growth (77 Occurrences)

Gluttons (3 Occurrences)

Wind (180 Occurrences)

Increasing (61 Occurrences)

Impose (12 Occurrences)

Idiot (1 Occurrence)

Ill-conditioned (1 Occurrence)

Industrious (2 Occurrences)

Idly (4 Occurrences)

Fruitless (4 Occurrences)

Forget (77 Occurrences)

Fool (95 Occurrences)

Fancies (3 Occurrences)


Thrum (2 Occurrences)

Tales (4 Occurrences)

Third (192 Occurrences)

Theirs (96 Occurrences)

Talkative (5 Occurrences)

Rules (160 Occurrences)

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