It took them a while to find out what was causing the problem.
we stayed at the fair for a while longer Conjunction
Someone called while you were out.
You can get the photos developed while you wait.
The phone rang while I was doing the dishes.
They met while they were in college.
Can I get you anything while I'm at the store?
He made a comment that, while well-intentioned, still hurt my feelings. While I think some parts of the plan are good, I don't think it's practical.See More
Recent Examples on the Web
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This has been one of our favorite budget laptops for a while.—Eric Ravenscraft, WIRED, 25 Nov. 2023 Tyreek Hill is dealing with a hand injury, and a stout defense should keep the Jets in this game for a while.—Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2023 In October, Bond producer Barbara Broccoli indicated fans may have to wait a while longer until a new actor is announced.—Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 As the cold front approaches, rain could really pile up for a while later tonight.—Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2023 For a while, that meant Activision, which acquired Infocom in 1986.—Kevin Purdy, Ars Technica, 21 Nov. 2023 There’s been signs for a while that commercial real estate is a bubble that’s about to burst.—Bysydney Lake, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 Jennifer Lopez has also been sporting golden honey hair for a while now.—Danielle Sinay, Glamour, 20 Nov. 2023 Creative direction and styling have both been interests of the artists for a while.—Essence, 20 Nov. 2023
Observers have noticed on nearly every play Taylor has been setting up further behind the line of scrimmage than offensive linemen are allowed to while also jumping a half-second early.—Jared Ramsey, Detroit Free Press, 8 Sep. 2023 Every Photo of Kate Middleton and Prince William in Boston After a coffee stop at Dunkin Donuts — a must while in Massachusetts, right?—Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 6 Dec. 2022 Your talents may have attracted the spotlight—and could continue to while the Sun’s in Scorpio until November 22.—The Astrotwins, ELLE, 30 Nov. 2022 His father, a security guard in the Texas oil fields, used to while away his shift catching snakes that wriggled by his post, and would bring them home for his children to admire before releasing them.—Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2022 But Mussolini failed to develop Italy’s economic and military might while Hitler transformed Germany into a colossus.—Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 19 Sep. 2022 There's plenty of luxury to go around, as backseat passengers can while away the miles with a massage.—Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, 17 June 2022 The activity is in the Art Lab, which is brimming with other projects that will while away the time.—Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Mar. 2022 In the photos, Saweetie is shown lounging under a palm tree, taking a dip in the water, and enjoying food and beverages — as one should while on vacay, of course.—Sara Miranda, Allure, 27 Dec. 2021 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'while.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English, from Old English hwīl; akin to Old High German hwīla time, Latin quies rest, quiet
First Known Use
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1