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verb (used with object)
  1. to wait for; expect; look for: He is still awaiting an answer.
  2. to be in store for; be imminent: A pleasant surprise awaits her in today's mail.
  3. Obsolete. to lie in wait for.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to wait, as in expectation.
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Origin of await

1200–50; Middle English awaiten < Old North French awaitier, equivalent to a- a-5 + waitier to wait
Related formsa·wait·er, noun


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1. See expect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

anticipate, attend, stay, sweat, hope

Examples from the Web for await

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Now they neared the foot of the shaft where the rest of the party seemed to await them.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Both will afford me encouragement and support in the vicissitudes which yet await me.

  • But Posthumus will not await the proof for which he has asked.

  • I stopped, thinking that as good a place as any to await developments.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

  • Having stabled the horses as I was bidden, I came back here to await them.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

British Dictionary definitions for await


  1. (tr) to wait for; expect
  2. (tr) to be in store for
  3. (intr) to wait, esp with expectation
  4. (tr) obsolete to wait for in order to ambush
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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

Word Origin and History for await


early 13c., awaiten, from Old North French awaitier (Old French agaitier) "to lie in wait for, watch, observe," from a- "to" (see ad-) + waitier "to watch" (see wait (v.)). Originally especially with a hostile sense. Related: Awaited; awaiting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper