wait

wait

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of wait in English

English Online Dictionary. What means wait‎? What does wait mean?

English

Alternative forms

  • (obsolete) waight

Etymology

From Middle English waiten, wayten, from Old Northern French waiter, waitier (compare French guetter from Old French gaitier, guaitier), from Frankish *wahtōn, *wahtijan (to watch, guard), derivative of Frankish *wahta (guard, watch), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (guard, watch), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (to be fresh, cheerful, awake). Cognate with Old High German wahtēn (to watch, guard), German Low German wachten (to wait), Dutch wachten (to wait, expect), French guetter (to watch out for), Saterland Frisian wachtje (to wait), West Frisian wachtsje (to wait), North Frisian wachtjen (to stand, stay put). More at watch.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /weɪt/
  • Rhymes: -eɪt
  • Homophone: weight

Verb

wait (third-person singular simple present waits, present participle waiting, simple past and past participle waited)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To delay movement or action until the arrival or occurrence of; to await. (Now generally superseded by “wait for”.)
    • Dryden
      Awed with these words, in camps they still abide, / And wait with longing looks their promised guide.
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, page 30:
      The Court had assembled, to wait events, in the huge antechamber known as the Œil de Boeuf.
  2. (intransitive) To delay movement or action until some event or time; to remain neglected or in readiness.
    • John Milton
      They also serve who only stand and wait.
    • John Dryden
      Haste, my dear father; 'tis no time to wait.
  3. (intransitive, US) To wait tables; to serve customers in a restaurant or other eating establishment.
  4. (obsolete) To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
    • Dryden
      He chose a thousand horse, the flower of all / His warlike troops, to wait the funeral.
    • Rowe
      Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee, / And everlasting anguish be thy portion.
  5. (obsolete) To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany.
  6. (obsolete) To defer or postpone (a meal).
    to wait dinner
  7. (intransitive) To remain celibate while one's lover is unavailable.
    • 1957,Dagny Taggart and Francisco d'Anconia, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
      She did not question him. Before leaving, she asked only, "When will I see you again?" He answered, "I don't know. Don't wait for me, Dagny. Next time we meet, you will not want to see me."
    • 1974, The Bee Gees, Night Fever
      I will wait / Even if it takes forever / I will wait / Even if it takes a lifetime

Usage notes

  • In sense 1, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs

Synonyms

  • (delay until): await, wait for; See also Thesaurus:wait for
  • (delay until some event): hold one's breath; See also Thesaurus:wait
  • (serve customers): wait on, wait upon, serve
  • (attend with ceremony or respect): bestand, serve, tend; See also Thesaurus:serve
  • (attend as a consequence): attend, escort, go with
  • (defer or postpone): defer, postpone; See also Thesaurus:procrastinate
  • (remain celibate):

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

wait (plural waits)

  1. A delay.
    I had a very long wait at the airport security check.
  2. An ambush.
    They laid in wait for the patrol.
    • Milton
      an enemy in wait
  3. (obsolete) One who watches; a watchman.
  4. (in the plural, obsolete, Britain) Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
  5. (in the plural, archaic, Britain) Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen. [formerly waites, wayghtes.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Beaumont and Fletcher
      Hark! are the waits abroad?
    • (Can we date this quote?) Washington Irving
      The sound of the waits, rude as may be their minstrelsy, breaks upon the mild watches of a winter night with the effect of perfect harmony.

Translations

Related terms

  • wake
  • watch

Anagrams

  • WTAI

Elfdalian

Etymology

From Old Norse hvítr, from Proto-Germanic *hwītaz. Cognate with Swedish vit.

Adjective

wait

  1. white

Gothic

Romanization

wait

  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍄

Tok Pisin

Etymology

From English white.

Adjective

wait

  1. white

Westrobothnian

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *hwaitijaz, from *hwītaz (white), see gwit.

Noun

wait n (definite singular waite)

  1. wheat (Triticum)
  2. wheat bread

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.