\ ə-ˈwāt \
awaited; awaiting; awaits

Definition of await

transitive verb

1a : to wait for We are awaiting his arrival. await a decision
b : to remain in abeyance until a treaty awaiting ratification
2 : to be in store for He wonders what awaits him next.
3 obsolete : to lie in wait for

intransitive verb

1 : to stay or be in waiting : wait The nation awaited as Congress debated the issue.
2 : to be in store … marched … north to civilization where fame and forturne awaited.— Tom Marvel
3 obsolete : attend

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Examples of await in a Sentence

A crowd of people awaited the train. We're eagerly awaiting his arrival. He was arrested and is now in prison awaiting trial. Her long-awaited new novel is finally being published. The same fate awaits us all.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Mexico’s agreement to the plan delivers a big blow to many migrants who have in the past been allowed to work legally in the U.S. while awaiting the outcome of their asylum cases, a process that often takes months or even years. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Caravan’s Stymied Passage Leaves Migrant Issue Boiling," 28 Dec. 2018 Another judge in 2015 ruled in favor of a lawsuit brought on behalf of people housed in jails for weeks and months at a time while awaiting competency services for their mental-health issues. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Inslee unveils $675 million plan to reverse crisis in Washington’s mental-health system," 12 Dec. 2018 As the noose tightens, there is plenty of speculation—will the moving finger of fate point to Don Jr and Jared next, with the holiday gift of indictments awaiting them both? Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "Reading Between the Lines of the Mueller Investigation Filings," 9 Dec. 2018 Life Is Strange 2 excels in quiet tragedy and slow mood-setting, highlighted in conversations between two people who love each other while awaiting something terrible chasing them just a few steps behind. Julie Muncy, Ars Technica, "Life Is Strange 2, episode 1 review: New setting, same heart," 28 Sep. 2018 Brents is also working out with the Cardinals' football team while awaiting approval from the NCAA clearinghouse, which is examining his transcripts in order to determine his eligibility to play this season. Jake Lourim, The Courier-Journal, "Former Waggener star Jairus Brents enrolls, awaiting NCAA clearance," 13 July 2018 They are being held while their parents await immigration proceedings or, if the children arrived unaccompanied, are reviewed for possible asylum themselves. Martha Mendoza And Larry Fenn, Detroit Free Press, "Detaining immigrant kids is now a billion-dollar industry, research shows," 12 July 2018 While college football fans eagerly await kickoff of the 2018-19 season, their favorite programs are in mid-season form on the recruiting trail angling for the inside track on the best 2019 recruits across the country. William Wilkerson, star-telegram, "Big 12 + A&M recruiting: Where each team ranks nationally in 2019," 28 June 2018 Brown has already been detained 20 months while awaiting the verdict. NBC News, "Chinese court hands U.S. football coach Wendell Brown 4-year prison sentence," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'await.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of await

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

History and Etymology for await

Middle English, from Anglo-French aweiter, aguaiter, from a- (from Latin ad-) + guaiter to watch — more at wait

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Statistics for await

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for await

The first known use of await was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for await



English Language Learners Definition of await

: to wait for (someone or something)

: to be ready or waiting for (someone or something)


\ ə-ˈwāt \
awaited; awaiting

Kids Definition of await

1 : to wait for await a train
2 : to be ready or waiting for Dinner was awaiting them on their arrival.

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More from Merriam-Webster on await

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with await

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for await

Spanish Central: Translation of await

Nglish: Translation of await for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of await for Arabic Speakers

Comments on await

What made you want to look up await? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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