From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English awaiten, from Old Northern French awaitier (to lie in wait for, watch, observe), originally especially with a hostile sense; itself from a- (to) + waitier (to watch).[1] More at English wait.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈweɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪt


await (third-person singular simple present awaits, present participle awaiting, simple past and past participle awaited)

  1. (transitive, formal) To wait for.
    I await your reply to my letter.
    • 1674, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost:
      Betwixt these rocky pillars Gabriel sat, / Chief of the angelic guards, awaiting night;
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town.
  2. (transitive) To expect.
  3. (transitive) To be in store for; to be ready or in waiting for.
    Glorious rewards await the good in heaven; eternal suffering awaits mortal sinners in hell.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, chapter I, in The House Behind the Cedars:
      Standing foursquare in the heart of the town, at the intersection of the two main streets, a "jog" at each street corner left around the market-house a little public square, which at this hour was well occupied by carts and wagons from the country and empty drays awaiting hire.
    • 1674, John Milton, “Book XI”, in Paradise Lost:
      O Eve, some further change awaits us nigh.
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To serve or attend; to wait on, wait upon.
  5. (intransitive) To watch, observe.
  6. (intransitive) To wait; to stay in waiting.

Usage notes[edit]

  • As await means to wait for, it is not followed by "for". *I am awaiting for your reply is therefore incorrect.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


await (plural awaits)

  1. (obsolete) A waiting for; ambush.
  2. (obsolete) Watching, watchfulness, suspicious observation.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “await”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.