wait and see

Bide one's time for events to run their course, as in Do you think they'll raise taxes?—We'll have to wait and see. This expression was first recorded in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719): “We had no remedy but to wait and see.” In Britain the phrase became associated with Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, who in 1910 so often said it to the opposition regarding an impending bill that he became known as “Old Wait and See.”

Nearby words

  1. waistcoating,
  2. waisted,
  3. waistline,
  4. wait,
  5. wait a minute,
  6. wait at table,
  7. wait for the other shoe to drop,
  8. wait on,
  9. wait on hand and foot,
  10. wait out

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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