while


1while

noun \ˈhwī(-ə)l, ˈwī(-ə)l\

: a period of time

Full Definition of WHILE

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
:  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

2while

conjunction

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

First Known Use of WHILE

12th century

Related to WHILE

Synonyms
as, so long as, when, whilst [chiefly British]

Rhymes with WHILE

3while

preposition

Definition of WHILE

dial British
:  until

First Known Use of WHILE

15th century

4while

verb
whiledwhil·ing

Definition of WHILE

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

First Known Use of WHILE

1635

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