The while
While While, n. [AS. hw[=i]l; akin to OS. hw[=i]l, hw[=i]la, OFries. hw[=i]le, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG. w[=i]la, hw[=i]la, hw[=i]l, Icel. hv[=i]la a bed, hv[=i]ld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time, and probably to L. quietus quiet, and perhaps to Gr. ? the proper time of season. [root]20. Cf. {Quiet}, {Whilom}.] 1. Space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a time; as, one while we thought him innocent. ``All this while.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]

This mighty queen may no while endure. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

[Some guest that] hath outside his welcome while, And tells the jest without the smile. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster]

I will go forth and breathe the air a while. --Longfellow. [1913 Webster]

2. That which requires time; labor; pains. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Satan . . . cast him how he might quite her while. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

{At whiles}, at times; at intervals. [1913 Webster]

And so on us at whiles it falls, to claim Powers that we dread. --J. H. Newman. [1913 Webster]

{The while}, {The whiles}, in or during the time that; meantime; while. --Tennyson.

{Within a while}, in a short time; soon.

{Worth while}, worth the time which it requires; worth the time and pains; hence, worth the expense; as, it is not always worth while for a man to prosecute for small debts. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • While — While, n. [AS. hw[=i]l; akin to OS. hw[=i]l, hw[=i]la, OFries. hw[=i]le, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG. w[=i]la, hw[=i]la, hw[=i]l, Icel. hv[=i]la a bed, hv[=i]ld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time, and probably to L. quietus quiet, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The whiles — While While, n. [AS. hw[=i]l; akin to OS. hw[=i]l, hw[=i]la, OFries. hw[=i]le, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG. w[=i]la, hw[=i]la, hw[=i]l, Icel. hv[=i]la a bed, hv[=i]ld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time, and probably to L. quietus quiet,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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