while
I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hwīl; akin to Old High German hwīla time, Latin quies rest, quiet Date: before 12th century 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. the time and effort used (as in the performance of an action) ; trouble <
worth your while
>
II. conjunction Date: 12th century 1. a. during the time that <
take a nap while I'm out
>
b. as long as <
while there's life there's hope
>
2. a. when on the other hand ; whereas <
easy for an expert, while it is dangerous for a novice
>
b. in spite of the fact that ; although <
while respected, he is not liked
>
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
>
III. preposition Date: 15th century dialect British until IV. transitive verb (whiled; whiling) Date: 1635 to cause to pass especially without boredom or in a pleasant manner — usually used with away <
while away the time
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • While — and whilst are conjunctions whose primary meaning is during the time that . An example is::The days were hot while we were on vacation.:I read a magazine whilst I was waiting. While and whilst can nowadays legitimately be used in the contrastive… …   Wikipedia

  • 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

  • While — While, conj. 1. During the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep. While I have time and space. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement, while you… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While — While, prep. Until; till. [Obs. or Prov. Eng. & Scot.] [1913 Webster] I may be conveyed into your chamber; I ll lie under your bed while midnight. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While — While, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Whiled}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Whiling}.] To cause to pass away pleasantly or without irksomeness or disgust; to spend or pass; usually followed by away. [1913 Webster] The lovely lady whiled the hours away. Longfellow.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While — While, v. i. To loiter. [R.] Spectator. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • while — /hwuyl, wuyl/, n., conj., prep., v., whiled, whiling. n. 1. a period or interval of time: to wait a long while; He arrived a short while ago. 2. Archaic. a particular time or occasion. 3. all the while, at or during this time; all along: She… …   Universalium

  • while — See: AFTER A WHILE or IN A WHILE, ALL THE TIME(1), EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, ONCE IN A WHILE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • while — See: AFTER A WHILE or IN A WHILE, ALL THE TIME(1), EVERY NOW AND THEN or EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, ONCE IN A WHILE …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • while — 1. noun /ʍaɪl,waɪl/ A certain duration of time, a period of time. He lectured for quite a long while. 2. conjunction /ʍaɪl,waɪl/ a) During the same time that. He was sleeping while I was singing. b) although …   Wiktionary

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