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

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

  • (obsolete) waight

From Middle English waiten, from Anglo-Norman waiter, waitier (compare French guetter from Old French gaitier, guaitier), from Frankish *wahtwēn (to watch, guard), derivative of Frankish *wahtu (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.

In some senses, merged or influenced by Middle English waiten, weiten (to do good to, lie in wait for, to contrive good or harm on, catch, snare), from Old Norse veita (to give help to, assist, grant, cause to happen), from Proto-Germanic *waitijaną (to show, guide, advise, direct), from Proto-Indo-European *weyd- (to see, know).

Largely overtook native Middle English biden, from Old English bīdan.

  • IPA(key): /weɪt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /weɪt/, [weɪ̯ʔt]
  • Rhymes: -eɪt
  • Homophone: weight

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 (Now generally superseded by “wait for”.)
    to wait one’s turn
  2. (intransitive) To delay movement or action until some event or time; to remain neglected or in readiness.
  3. (intransitive, stative, US) To wait tables; to serve customers in a restaurant or other eating establishment.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
  5. (obsolete) To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany.
  6. (obsolete, colloquial) To defer or postpone (especially a meal).
  7. (obsolete, except in phrases) To watch with malicious intent; to lie in wait
  8. (intransitive) To remain faithful to one’s partner or betrothed during a prolonged period of absence.
  • In sense 1, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
  • (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):

wait (plural waits)

  1. A delay.
    I had a very long wait at the airport security check.
  2. An ambush.
    They lay in wait for the patrol.
  3. (computing) Short for wait state.
  4. (obsolete) One who watches; a watchman.
  5. (in the plural, obsolete, UK) Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians.
  6. (in the plural, UK) Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen. [formerly waites, wayghtes.]
    • 1819-1820, Washington Irving, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon
      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.
  • wake
  • watch


  1. (informal) Tells the other speaker to stop talking, typing etc. for a moment.
  • wait a minute
  • WTAI

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


  1. white


  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍄

From English white.


  1. white

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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.