wait

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See also: Wait and wäit

English[edit]

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 Wait (disambiguation) on Wikipedia

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English waiten, wayten, from Old Northern French waiter, waitier (compare French guetter from Old French gaitier, guaitier), from Frankish *wahtōn, *wahtijan (to watch, guard), derivative of Frankish *wahta (guard, watch), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (guard, watch), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (to be fresh, cheerful, awake). Cognate with Old High German wahtēn (to watch, guard), German Low German wachten (to wait), Dutch wachten (to wait, expect), French guetter (to watch out for), Saterland Frisian wachtje (to wait), West Frisian wachtsje (to wait), North Frisian wachtjen (to stand, stay put). More at watch.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

wait (third-person singular simple present waits, present participle waiting, simple past and past participle waited)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To delay movement or action until the arrival or occurrence of; to await. (Now generally superseded by “wait for”.)
    • 1697, “Aeneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      Awed with these words, in camps they still abide, / And wait with longing looks their promised guide.
    • 1992, Hilary Mantel, A Place of Greater Safety, Harper Perennial 2007, page 30:
      The Court had assembled, to wait events, in the huge antechamber known as the Œil de Boeuf.
  2. (intransitive) To delay movement or action until some event or time; to remain neglected or in readiness.
    Wait here until your car arrives.
  3. (intransitive, US) To wait tables; to serve customers in a restaurant or other eating establishment.
    She used to wait in this joint.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
    • 1697, “Aeneis”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      He chose a thousand horse, the flower of all / His warlike troops, to wait the funeral.
    • 1714, Nicholas Rowe, The Tragedy of Jane Shore
      Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee, / And everlasting anguish be thy portion.
  5. (obsolete) To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany.
  6. (obsolete, colloquial) To defer or postpone (especially a meal).
    to wait dinner
  7. (intransitive) To remain faithful to one’s partner or betrothed during a prolonged period of absence.
    • 1957,Dagny Taggart and Francisco d'Anconia, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged
      She did not question him. Before leaving, she asked only, "When will I see you again?" He answered, "I don't know. Don't wait for me, Dagny. Next time we meet, you will not want to see me."
    • 1974, The Bee Gees, Night Fever
      I will wait / Even if it takes forever / I will wait / Even if it takes a lifetime

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from wait (verb)

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

wait (plural waits)

  1. A delay.
    I had a very long wait at the airport security check.
  2. An ambush.
    They lay in wait for the patrol.
  3. (obsolete) One who watches; a watchman.
  4. (in the plural, obsolete, Britain) Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Halliwell to this entry?)
  5. (in the plural, Britain) Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen. [formerly waites, wayghtes.]

Translations[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Elfdalian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse hvítr, from Proto-Germanic *hwītaz. Cognate with Swedish vit.

Adjective[edit]

wait

  1. white

Gothic[edit]

Romanization[edit]

wait

  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍄

Tok Pisin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English white.

Adjective[edit]

wait

  1. white

Westrobothnian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Norse hveiti.

Noun[edit]

wait n (definite singular waite)

  1. wheat (Triticum)
  2. wheat bread