waiting

[ wey-ting ]
/ ˈweɪ tɪŋ /

noun

a period of waiting; pause, interval, or delay.

adjective

serving or being in attendance: waiting man; waiting maid; waiting woman.

Idioms

    in waiting, in attendance, as upon a royal personage.

Origin of waiting

1150–1200; Middle English (noun); see wait, -ing1, -ing2

Related forms

wait·ing·ly, adverb

Definition for waiting (2 of 2)

Origin of wait

1150–1200; (v.) early Middle English waiten < Anglo-French waitier; Old French guaitier < Germanic; cognate with Old High German wahtēn to watch, derivative of wahta a watch (see wake1); (noun) late Middle English < AF derivative of waitier

SYNONYMS FOR wait

1 await, linger, abide, delay. Wait, tarry imply pausing to linger and thereby putting off further activity until later. Wait usually implies staying for a limited time and for a definite purpose, that is, for something expected: to wait for a train. Tarry is a somewhat archaic word for wait, but it suggests lingering, perhaps aimlessly delaying, or pausing (briefly) in a journey: to tarry on the way home; to tarry overnight at an inn.

Can be confused

wait weight

Usage note

15e, f. Sometimes considered objectionable in standard usage, the idiom wait on meaning “to wait for, to await (a person)” is largely confined to speech or written representations of speech. It is most common in the Midland and Southern United States: Let's not wait on Rachel, she's always late. Wait on or upon (an event) does not have a regional pattern and occurs in a wide variety of contexts: We will wait on (or upon ) his answer and make our decision then. The completion of the merger waits upon news of a drop in interest rates.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for waiting

British Dictionary definitions for waiting

wait

/ (weɪt) /

verb

noun

See also wait on, wait up

Word Origin for wait

C12: from Old French waitier; related to Old High German wahtēn to wake 1
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

Idioms and Phrases with waiting

wait


In addition to the idioms beginning with wait

  • wait a minute
  • wait and see
  • wait at table
  • wait for the other shoe to drop
  • waiting game
  • waiting in the wings
  • wait on
  • wait on hand and foot
  • wait out
  • wait up

also see:

  • can't wait
  • hurry up and wait
  • in waiting
  • lie in wait
  • play a waiting game
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.