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1

while

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noun \ˈhwī(-ə)l, ˈwī(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of while

  • : a period of time

Full Definition of while

  1. 1 :  a period of time especially when short and marked by the occurrence of an action or a condition :  time <stay here for a while>

  2. 2 :  the time and effort used (as in the performance of an action) :  trouble <worth your while>

Examples of while

  1. It took them a while to find out what was causing the problem.

  2. <we stayed at the fair for a while longer>



Origin of while

Middle English, from Old English hwīl; akin to Old High German hwīla time, Latin quies rest, quiet


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

while

conjunction

Simple Definition of while

  • : during the time that

  • —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

  • : in spite of the fact that

Full Definition of while

  1. 1 a :  during the time that <take a nap while I'm out> b :  as long as <while there's life there's hope>

  2. 2 a :  when on the other hand :  whereas <easy for an expert, while it is dangerous for a novice> b :  in spite of the fact that :  although <while respected, he is not liked>

  3. 3 :  similarly and at the same time that <while the book will be welcomed by scholars, it will make an immediate appeal to the general reader — British Book News>

Examples of while

  1. Someone called while you were out.

  2. You can get the photos developed while you wait.

  3. The phone rang while I was doing the dishes.

  4. They met while they were in college.

  5. Can I get you anything while I'm at the store?

  6. He made a comment that, while well-intentioned, still hurt my feelings.

  7. While I think some parts of the plan are good, I don't think it's practical.



12th Century

First Known Use of while

12th century

Rhymes with while


3

while

preposition

Definition of while

dial British

  1. :  until



15th Century

First Known Use of while

15th century


4

while

verb

Definition of while

whiledwhil·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to cause to pass especially without boredom or in a pleasant manner —usually used with away <while away the time>



1635

First Known Use of while

1635




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