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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
while /hwaɪl, waɪl/USA pronunciation
n., conj., v., whiled, whil•ing. n. [countable; singular]
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
- an amount, period, or interval of time:a long while ago.
- during the time that:He read the paper while he waited.
- as long as:While there's quiet I can sleep.
- even though:While they are related, they don't get along.
- at the same time that:She exercises while he grows fat.
- while away, to cause (time) to pass, esp. pleasantly: [~ + away + object]whiling away the hours.[~ + object + away]to while the hours away.
- Idiomsworth one's while, worth one's time, trouble, or expense.
(hwīl, wīl),USA pronunciation
n., conj., prep., v., whiled, whil•ing. n.
- a period or interval of time:to wait a long while; He arrived a short while ago.
- [Archaic.]a particular time or occasion.
- all the while, at or during this time;
all along:She realized all the while that the cake would fall.
- worth one's while, worth one's time, trouble, or expense:The art exhibition that opened yesterday isn't worth your while.
- during or in the time that.
- throughout the time that;
as long as.
- even though;
although:While she appreciated the honor, she could not accept the position.
- at the same time that (showing an analogous or corresponding action):The floor was strewn with books, while magazines covered the tables.
- to cause (time) to pass, esp. in some easy or pleasant manner (usually fol. by away).
- bef. 900; Middle English; Old English hwīl; cognate with Dutch wijl, German weile, Old Norse hvīla, Gothic hweila
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
while /waɪl/ conj
Also: whilst /waɪlst/
prep , conj
- (subordinating) at the same time that: please light the fire while I'm cooking
- (subordinating) all the time that: I stay inside while it's raining
- (subordinating) in spite of the fact that: while I agree about his brilliance I still think he's rude
- (coordinating) whereas; and in contrast: flats are expensive, while houses are cheap
- (subordinating; used with a gerund) during the activity of: while walking I often whistle
- Scot Northern English dialect
another word for until: you'll have to wait while Monday for these sheets, you'll never make any progress while you listen to me
See also whilesEtymology: Old English hwīl; related to Old High German hwīla (German Weile), Gothic hveila, Latin quiēs peace, tranquīlus tranquilUSAGE
- (usually used in adverbial phrases) a period or interval of time: once in a long while
- trouble or time (esp in the phrase worth one's while): it's hardly worth your while to begin work today
- the while ⇒ at that time: he was working the while
It was formerly considered incorrect to use while to mean in spite of the fact that or whereas, but these uses have now become acceptable
'while whilst' also found in these entries:
Among, amongst; amid, amidst; while, whilst?
Among, amongst; while, whilst. Are the -st forms more elegant?
Among/amongst, while/whilst, amid/amidst
While, whilst: Are they the same?
While, whilst: are they the same?
While, whilst: differences; pronunciation of whilst
whilst I'm about it [while]
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