Today I came across the Japanese word which conveys the meaning of having a lot of free time, and is the opposite of busy. The closest word which I can think of is idle, but that word seems to mean more of a laziness rather than actually lacking something to do. Are there any other words that would convey this kind of meaning?

  • I think that the phrase "at leisure" – as in "I am at leisure now" – fits best in most circumstances. Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 2:35

6 Answers 6

  1. Free

  2. Available

  3. Leisurely (courtesy Andrew Leach)

  4. Cooling one's heels

  • The first two are good so +1. The second two... no. Leisure[d|ly] is a very poor antonym for busy - at least is the US. Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 19:02
  • 1
    How about "at leisure"? Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 2:36

I don’t know what the Japanese word is, or how it is used in Japanese.

Is this “lack of something to do” actually desired by the non-worker, or forced upon him? That is, is this leisure or boredom?

If the lack of busyness is leisure, then leisured would fit; if it’s boredom because he would rather be doing something, then bored would fit.


How about Inactive?

in·ac·tive [in-ak-tiv]


  1. not active: an inactive volcano.
  2. sedentary or passive: an inactive life.
  3. sluggish; indolent.
  4. Military . not on active duty.
  5. Chemistry . a. inert; unreactive. b. noting a compound that has no effect on polarized light.

Or even quiet? (6, 7, and 13)

qui·et1 [kwahy-it]
adjective, qui·et·er, qui·et·est.

  1. making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound: quiet neighbors.
  2. free, or comparatively free, from noise: a quiet street.
  3. silent: Be quiet!
  4. restrained in speech, manner, etc.; saying little: a quiet person.
  5. free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful: a quiet life.
  6. being at rest.
  7. refraining or free from activity, especially busy or vigorous activity: a quiet Sunday afternoon.
  8. making no disturbance or trouble; not turbulent; peaceable: The factions remained quiet for twenty years.
  9. motionless or moving very gently: quiet waters.
  10. free from disturbing thoughts, emotions, etc.; mentally peaceful: a quiet conscience.
  11. said, expressed, done, etc., in a restrained or unobtrusive way: a quiet reproach; a quiet admonition.
  12. not showy or obtrusive; subdued: quiet colors.
  13. not busy or active: The stock market was quiet last week.

In a metaphoric sense:

Fallow: uncultivated for the current year.

More literal:

Quiescent: inactive, dormant

Furloughed: unoccupied, inactive (usually due to lack of work)


There are exact opposites but the usage is not common as free and available in this sense.


not busy, idle, unoccupied


Not required to work; unemployed; not busy.


I would offer the words clear or empty.

My plate is clear/empty.

My calendar is clear/empty.

You can also say that you have ample spare time.

And normally used for machinery but used for humans too, if something is not in use it is idle.

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