While procrastinating during the tedious process of typing random stuff, I wondered if there was any activity referring to what I was doing.

What I mean is: is there any single word used to refer to something done to stall time? I want a word on the likes of diversion tactics and so on.

I apologise for not detailing it.

The reason procrastinating won't work is because, according to the Wikidictionary it is

It is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones, thus putting off impending tasks to a later time.

Whereas the freedictionary lists it as

To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.

Both of these here refer to it as a practice, while what I seek ( it gets a bit confusing ) is something that specifically means the act of procrastinating, or a metaphor that I can use in place.

That, and I have already used it previously.

For example,

Knowing what his volcano-cranium'd hatchet hopping companion's next outburst would be directed at, despite agreeing by all means ( though not intensity ) he attempted to pass on a half-hearted salve in the intented hopes of _________: Lord Hugo Laxinor was an experienced procrastinator, otherwise he'd have gone to destitution ages ago.

Here, he is not putting something off; indeed, he is trying to delay his haste companion from taking any rash and collateral damage - causing decision. Thus most such words are cut out. He is not hesitating, he is not indecisive.

In fact, the most apt suitors asking for its hand are dilly-dally – whom I deem too rash – and plain dally, who is utterly lacklustre.

  • 1
    Is there a reason procrastinating doesn't work? – John Clifford Mar 29 '16 at 10:36
  • 2
    You'll probably be close-voted unless you provide an example sentence... – jimm101 Mar 29 '16 at 12:22
  • 1
    I think it's actually "stalling for time" – NVZ Mar 29 '16 at 12:26
  • Busy work, marking time. – Hot Licks Mar 29 '16 at 12:34
  • You use “stall” in your question so you obviously don’t want that, but as a single word, both as noun and verb, it already has the notion of time built in (unlike the “kill” in “killing time”) and UNC coaching legend Dean Smith used it (the 4 corners variety) as a tactic to win many of his 879 victories. – Papa Poule Mar 29 '16 at 12:50

When talking about "diversionary tactics" words such as: stonewall, forestall, temporize, and delay come to mind.


Temporize: Avoid making a decision in order to gain time.

Stonewall: Delay a process, request, or person via refusing to answer questions or by answering in an evasive way.

Forestall: Prevent an anticipated action by taking an advance action.

Delay: Make something late/slow.


King Henry was compelled to temporize before making concessions to the French.

He has also stonewalled questions about their relationship

One remedy for an unsuccessful colony would be to annex more territory, and forestall a possible rival.

My train was delayed which stopped me from reaching the conference in time.


Goofing off

Goofing off is a slang term in the United States for engaging in recreation or an idle pastime while obligations of work or society are neglected. Common obligations neglected in the course of goofing off include schoolwork, paid employment, social courtesies and the expectations of relations.

Wikipedia "goofing off"


When using diversionary tactics, you are buying time.

to postpone an event hoping that the situation will improve.

You are just stalling to buy time.

Maybe I can buy some time by asking the judge for a continuance.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.