wait
I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French waiter, guaiter to watch over, await, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wahta watch, Old English wæccan to watch — more at wake Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to stay in place in expectation of ; await <
waited the result of the advertisement — W. M. Thackeray
>
<
wait your turn
>
2. to delay serving (a meal) 3. to serve as waiter for <
wait tables
>
intransitive verb 1. a. to remain stationary in readiness or expectation <
wait for a train
>
b. to pause for another to catch up — usually used with up 2. a. to look forward expectantly <
just waiting to see his rival lose
>
b. to hold back expectantly <
waiting for a chance to strike
>
3. to serve at meals — usually used in such phrases as wait on tables or wait on table 4. a. to be ready and available <
slippers waiting by the bed
>
b. to remain temporarily neglected or unrealized <
the chores can wait
>
Usage: American dialectologists have evidence showing wait on (sense 3) to be more a Southern than a Northern form in speech. Handbook writers universally denigrate wait on and prescribe wait for in writing. Our evidence from printed sources does not show a regional preference; it does show that the handbooks' advice is not based on current usage <
settlement of the big problems still waited on Russia — Time
>
<
I couldn't make out…whether Harper was waiting on me for approval — E. B. White
>
<
the staggering bill that waited on them at the white commissary downtown — Maya Angelou
>
. One reason for the continuing use of wait on may lie in its being able to suggest protracted or irritating waits better than wait for <
for two days I've been waiting on weather — Charles A. Lindbergh
>
<
the boredom of black Africans sitting there, waiting on the whims of a colonial bureaucracy — Vincent Canby
>
<
doesn't care to sit around waiting on a House that's virtually paralyzed — Glenn A. Briere
>
. Wait on is less common than wait for, but if it seems natural, there is no reason to avoid it. II. noun Etymology: Middle English waite watchman, observation, from Anglo-French, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wahta watch Date: 14th century 1. a. a hidden or concealed position — used chiefly in the expression lie in wait b. a state or attitude of watchfulness and expectancy <
anchored in wait for early morning fishing — Fred Zimmer
>
2. a. one of a band of public musicians in England employed to play for processions or public entertainments b. (1) one of a group who serenade for gratuities especially at the Christmas season (2) a piece of music by such a group 3. an act or period of waiting <
a long wait in line
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • wait — [wāt] vi. [ME waiten < NormFr waitier < Frank * wahten, to guard, akin to OHG wahta, a guard, watch: for IE base see WAKE1] 1. to stay in a place or remain in readiness or in anticipation (until something expected happens or for someone to… …   English World dictionary

  • Wait — Wait, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Waited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Waiting}.] [OE. waiten, OF. waitier, gaitier, to watch, attend, F. guetter to watch, to wait for, fr. OHG. wahta a guard, watch, G. wacht, from OHG. wahh[=e]n to watch, be awake. [root]134. See …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wait — or WAIT may refer to: * The act of waiting, see waiting (time) * wait (command), a computer shell command * wait (operating system), an operating system system call * Wait (musician), British town pipers * Wait (song), a song by The Beatles *… …   Wikipedia

  • WAIT — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Wait, attendre en anglais, abrégé en W8, peut être retrouver dans : Wait a Minute  , divers albums musicaux, Wait for Sleep , une chanson de l… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Wait — Wait, v. t. 1. To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await; as, to wait orders. [1913 Webster] Awed with these words, in camps they still abide, And wait with longing looks their promised guide. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wait — Wait, n. [OF. waite, guaite, gaite, F. guet watch, watching, guard, from OHG. wahta. See {Wait}, v. i.] [1913 Webster] 1. The act of waiting; a delay; a halt. [1913 Webster] There is a wait of three hours at the border Mexican town of El Paso. S …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Wait — (англ. ждать, подожди) может означать: В искусстве Wait  одна из песен группы «Битлз» с альбома «Rubber Soul»; Wait  песня и одноимённый сингл группы «Wang Chung». Wait песня и одноимённый сингл группы «White Lion» из альбома… …   Википедия

  • wait — ► VERB 1) stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or event. 2) be delayed or deferred. 3) (wait on/upon) act as an attendant to. 4) act as a waiter or waitress. ► NOUN 1) a period of waiting. 2) …   English terms dictionary

  • wait — [n] pause, delay down, downtime*, halt, hold*, hold up, interim, interval, on hold*, rest, stay, time wasted*; concept 807 Ant. act, continuation, doing wait [v] pause, rest abide, anticipate, await, bide, bide one’s time*, cool it*, dally, delay …   New thesaurus

  • Wait — es una llamada al sistema del sistema operativo UNIX, estandarizada en POSIX (y otros). pid t wait(int *status) Permite a un proceso padre esperar hasta que termine un proceso hijo. El entero apuntado por el argumento status será actualizado con… …   Wikipedia Español

  • wait — I verb abide, await, be patient, bear with composure, bide, continue, defer, delay, discontinue, extend, forbear, halt, hesitate, linger, loiter, mark time, pause, postpone, procrastinate, prorogate, protract, put off, remain, remand, reserve,… …   Law dictionary

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