1

while

play
noun \ˈhwī(-ə)l, ˈwī(-ə)l\

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 in a Sentence

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

  2. we stayed at the fair for a while longer

Recent Examples of while from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of while

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


2

while

conjunction

Definition of while

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

  2. 2a :  when on the other hand :  whereas easy for an expert, while it is dangerous for a noviceb :  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 in a Sentence

  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


3

while

preposition

Definition of while

dialectal British

  1. :  until

First Known Use of while

15th century


4

while

verb

Definition of while

whiled

;

whiling

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

Recent Examples of while from the Web

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

First Known Use of while

1635


WHILE Defined for English Language Learners

while

play
noun

Definition of while for English Language Learners

  • : a period of time

while

conjunction

Definition of while for English Language Learners

  • : during the time that

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

  • : in spite of the fact that


WHILE Defined for Kids

1

while

play
conjunction \ˈhwīl, ˈwīl\

Definition of while for Students

  1. 1 :  during the time that We met while in college.

  2. 2 :  although 1 While famous, the book is seldom read.


2

while

play
noun

Definition of while for Students

  1. 1 :  a period of time Let's rest a while.

  2. 2 :  time and effort used in doing something I'll make it worth your while to help out.


3

while

play
verb

Definition of while for Students

whiled

;

whiling

  1. :  to cause to pass especially in a pleasant way We whiled away the time with games.



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