AskDefine | Define woolgathering

The Collaborative Dictionary

Woolgathering \Wool"gath`er*ing\, a. Indulging in a vagrant or idle exercise of the imagination; roaming upon a fruitless quest; idly fanciful. [1913 Webster]
Woolgathering \Wool"gath`er*ing\, n. Indulgence in idle imagination; a foolish or useless pursuit or design. [1913 Webster] His wits were a woolgathering, as they say. --Burton. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

woolgathering adj : dreamy in mood or nature; "a woolgathering moment" [syn: dreamy, moony] n : an idle indulgence in fantasy

Moby Thesaurus

Walter Mitty, absence of mind, absent, absentminded, absentmindedness, absorbed, absorption, abstracted, abstractedness, abstraction, bemused, bemusement, brown study, castle-building, daydream, daydreamer, daydreaming, daydreamy, depth of thought, dream, dreaming, dreamy, drowsing, ecstatic, elsewhere, engrossed, engrossment, fantasy, fantasying, faraway, fit of abstraction, half-awake, in a reverie, in the clouds, lost, lost in thought, meditative, mooning, moonraking, muse, museful, musefulness, musing, muted ecstasy, napping, nodding, oblivious, pensive, pipe dream, pipe-dreaming, preoccupation, preoccupied, rapt, reverie, somewhere else, stargazing, study, taken up, trance, transported, unconscious, wrapped in thought


Alternative spellings


  1. Gathering fragments of wool torn from sheep by bushes, etc.
  2. Indulging in idle fancies or daydreams.
    • 1911, H.G. Wells, "The Door in the Wall,"
      I had bad times after that—crying at night and woolgathering by day. For two terms I slackened and had bad reports.
Woolgathering is a book by Patti Smith, published in 1992.


  1. "A Bidding"
  2. "The Woolgatherers"
  3. "Barndance"
  4. "Cowboy Truths"
  5. "Indian Rubies"
  6. "Drawing"
  7. "Art in Heaven"
  8. "Flying"
  9. "A Farewell"


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