That's interesting, dictionary.com gives as a translation of dawdle : flâner.
And with other verbs roam, wander, meander, amble, ramble, he doesn't give that translation. So you found the good verb, Smarty
That's awesome !
Dans la définition de musarder, quand ils disent flâner, il faut comprendre la seconde définition de flâner et non la première.
Personnellement, je pense que quand on utilise flâner, on l'utilise principalement pour la première définition avec l'idée de se promener.
Musarder n'a pas cette notion de se promener, c'est plus "to be idle", "waste your time", dreaming, thinking, doing other stuff, instead of doing what matters (work, homework ...)
We would say :
J'ai flâné dans les rues de la ville
J'ai musardé toute la journée au lieu de faire mes exercices.
in the second sentence, probably, you did other stuff instead of doing your homework, probably not walking.
All of these posts point out why context is SO important, and that it is often very difficult to find exact word-for-word translations.
All of these words mean almost the same thing, but sometimes with a subtle difference that helps describe something exactly. Often, two words have exactly the same meaning, but are never used in a particular construction of a sentence.
We say that "a river meanders through the woods," meaning that it is winding and slow moving.
A person meanders down the street, meaning he may stop to look in windows, cross back and forth, and not proceed directly to some destination.
But someone would never say, "I don't have time to meander." We would say, "I don't have time to dilly-dally" or "There's no time to dawdle," or more formally, "There's no time for delay."
But a person can't dawdle down the street, nor can a river dawdle through the woods.
We stroll down the beach, and that implies a relaxing, unhurried walk with no particular purpose, but we also say "I strolled right up to him and told him how angry I was," implying a very purposeful action.
A person who rambles is nomadic, moving wherever chance or impulse takes him over a long period of time, but a person who "rambles on" talks too much and hops from topic to topic. People can ramble, and a written passage (like this one) can ramble; animals and rivers cannot ramble.
But animals and people can roam, meaning they can cover vast distances, usually not in any one direction, but just slightly less haphazardly than if they were rambling.
When a person ambles down the street, he has an easy stride and not a care in the world, just slightly more relaxed and in less of a hurry than the person who strolls down the street, but on a more direct path than the person who's meandering down the street. People can do all these things. Rivers and animals cannot amble or stroll.
I could ramble on and on about this, but I won't. But this is what makes language so interesting -- and so vexing!