From Middle English loitren, from Middle Dutch loteren (“to shake, wag, wobble”), ultimately connected with a frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *lūtaną (“to bend, stoop, cower, shrink from, decline”), see lout. Cognate with Dutch leuteren (“to dawdle”), Alemannic German lottern (“to wobble”), German Lotterbube (“rascal”). More at lout, little.
- To stand about without any aim or purpose; to stand about idly.
- To remain at a certain place instead of moving on.
- 2015 January 31, Daniel Taylor, “David Silva seizes point for Manchester City as Chelsea are checked”, in The Guardian, London, archived from the original on 8 March 2017:
- 2019, Li Huang; James Lambert, “Another Arrow for the Quiver: A New Methodology for Multilingual Researchers”, in Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI:10.1080/01434632.2019.1596115, page 4:
- Using the transect method, the counter had to maintain a general progress along the transect and was not able to loiter at one spot for too long.
- (military, aviation) For an aircraft to remain in the air near a target.