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[uh-hwahyl, uh-wahyl] /əˈʰwaɪl, əˈwaɪl/
for a short time or period:
Stay awhile.
Origin of awhile
before 1000; Middle English; Old English āne hwīle (dative); see a1, while
Usage note
The adverb awhile is spelled as a single word: After stopping in Hadley awhile, we drove to Deerfield. As the object of a preposition, the noun phrase a while is used, especially in edited writing, but the single-word form is becoming increasingly common: We rested for a while (or awhile). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for awhile
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But I kept looking and after awhile I was able to sit up and ask what hit me.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • A painter friend who lives by the sea has asked me to stay with him awhile.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • After awhile the master and mistress arrived, it seems, from a visit.

    Biography of a Slave Charles Thompson
  • The moon came up after awhile, and streamed in through the vines of the porch.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • After awhile she got to concealing them, as if she thought they annoyed me.

    Questionable Shapes William Dean Howells
British Dictionary definitions for awhile


for a brief period
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for awhile

Old English ane hwile "(for) a while" (see while (n.)); usually written as one word since 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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