hurry up and wait

Definition of hurry up and wait

US, informal
used to describe a situation in which one is forced to spend a lot of time waiting
  • My father says that all he did in the army was hurry up and wait.
sometimes used as a noun phrase
  • Traveling often involves a lot of hurry up and wait.

Word by Word Definitions

hurry play
  1. : to carry or cause to go with haste

  2. : to impel to rash or precipitate action

  3. : to impel to greater speed : prod

  1. : disturbed or disorderly activity : commotion

  2. : agitated and often bustling or disorderly haste

  3. : a state of eagerness or urgency : rush

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

wait play
  1. : to stay in place in expectation of : await

  2. : to delay serving (a meal)

  3. : to serve as waiter for

  1. : a hidden or concealed position

  2. : a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy

  3. : one of a band of public musicians in England employed to play for processions or public entertainments


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