American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Sit idly by

DEFINITION

Not provide assistance when it could be of value. Do nothing to assist while others around you are busy or in need. Although it can be recuperative to be idle, this phrase is used for someone who should be helping in an endeavor, but who does not help.

“While watching the road work on our street, I noticed 2 guys digging and 2 others were sitting idly by doing nothing but, nevertheless, getting paid!”

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