Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Wait

Wait

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Waited
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Waiting
.]
[OE.
waiten
, OF.
waitier
,
gaitier
, to watch, attend, F.
guetter
to watch, to wait for, fr. OHG.
wahta
a guard, watch, G.
wacht
, from OHG.
wahhēn
to watch, be awake. √134. See
Wake
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
To watch; to observe; to take notice.
[Obs.]
“But [unless] ye
wait
well and be privy,
I wot right well, I am but dead,” quoth she.
Chaucer.
2.
To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart.
All the days of my appointed time will I
wait
, till my change come.
Job xiv. 14.
They also serve who only stand and
wait
.
Milton.
Haste, my dear father; ’t is no time to
wait
.
Dryden.
To wait on
or
To wait upon
.
(a)
To attend, as a servant; to perform services for;
as, to
wait on
a gentleman;
to wait on
the table
.
“Authority and reason on her wait.”
Milton.
“I must wait on myself, must I?”
Shak.
(b)
To attend; to go to see; to visit on business or for ceremony.
(c)
To follow, as a consequence; to await.
“That ruin that waits on such a supine temper.”
Dr. H. More.
(d)
To look watchfully at; to follow with the eye; to watch.
[R.]
“It is a point of cunning to wait upon him with whom you speak with your eye.”
Bacon.
(e)
To attend to; to perform.
“Aaron and his sons . . . shall wait on their priest's office.”
Num. iii. 10.
(f)
(Falconry)
To fly above its master, waiting till game is sprung; – said of a hawk.
Encyc. Brit.

Wait

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await;
as, to
wait
orders
.
Awed with these words, in camps they still abide,
And
wait
with longing looks their promised guide.
Dryden.
2.
To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany; to await.
[Obs.]
3.
To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
[Obs.]
He chose a thousand horse, the flower of all
His warlike troops, to
wait
the funeral.
Dryden.
Remorse and heaviness of heart shall
wait
thee,
And everlasting anguish be thy portion.
Rowe.
4.
To cause to wait; to defer; to postpone; – said of a meal;
as, to
wait
dinner
.
[Colloq.]

Wait

,
Noun.
[OF.
waite
,
guaite
,
gaite
, F.
guet
watch, watching, guard, from OHG.
wahta
. See
Wait
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
The act of waiting; a delay; a halt.
There is a
wait
of three hours at the border Mexican town of El Paso.
S. B. Griffin.
2.
Ambush.
“An enemy in wait.”
Milton.
3.
One who watches; a watchman.
[Obs.]
4.
pl.
Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians; not used in the singular.
[Obs.]
Halliwell.
5.
pl.
Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen.
[Written formerly
wayghtes
.]
Hark! are the
waits
abroad?
Beau. & Fl.
The sound of the
waits
, rude as may be their minstrelsy, breaks upon the mild watches of a winter night with the effect of perfect harmony.
W. Irving.
To lay wait
,
to prepare an ambuscade.
To lie in wait
.
See under 4th
Lie
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Wait

WAIT

,
Verb.
I.
[The sense is to stop, or to continue.]
1.
To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary, till the arrival of some person or event. Thus we say, I went to the place of meeting, and there waited an hour for the moderator or chairman. I will go to the hotel, and there wait till you come. We will wait for the mail.
2.
To stay proceedings, or suspend any business, in expectation of some person, event, or the arrival of some hour. The court was obliged to wait for a witness.
3.
To rest in expectation and patience.
All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job 14.
4.
To stay; not to depart.
Haste, my dear father, tis no time to wait.
5.
To stay; to continue by reason of hindrance.
6.
To lie in ambush, as an enemy.
Such ambush waited to intercept thy way.
To wait on or upon, to attend, as a servant; to perform menial services for; as, to wait on a gentleman; to wait on the table.
To wait on,
1.
To attend; to go to see; to visit on business or for ceremony. Tell the gentleman I will wait on him at ten oclock.
2.
To pay servile or submissive attendance.
3.
To follow, as a consequence; as the ruin that waits on such a supine temper. [Instead of this, we use await.]
4.
To look watchfully.
It is a point of cunning to wait on him with whom you speak, with your eye. [Unusual.]
5.
To attend to; to perform.
Aaron and his sons shall wait on their priests office. Numbers 3, 8. Romans 12.
6.
To be ready to serve; to obey. Psalm 25. Proverbs 20.
To wait at, to attend in service; to perform service at. 1 Corinthians 9.
To wait for, to watch, as an enemy. Job 15.

Definition 2021


wait

wait

See also: wäit

English

Alternative forms

Verb

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”.)
    • Dryden
      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.
    • John Milton
      They also serve who only stand and wait.
    • John Dryden
      Haste, my dear father; 'tis no time to wait.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or otherwise his man would be there with a message to say that his master would shortly join me if I would kindly wait.
    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 down at the Dew Drop Inn.
  4. (obsolete) To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
    • Dryden
      He chose a thousand horse, the flower of all / His warlike troops, to wait the funeral.
    • Rowe
      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) To defer or postpone (a meal).
    to wait dinner
  7. (intransitive) To remain celibate while one's lover is unavailable.
    • 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

  • In sense 1, this is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

wait (plural waits)

  1. A delay.
    I had a very long wait at the airport security check.
  2. An ambush.
    They laid in wait for the patrol.
    • Milton
      an enemy in wait
  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, archaic, Britain) Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen. [formerly waites, wayghtes.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Beaumont and Fletcher
      Hark! are the waits abroad?
    • (Can we date this quote?) Washington Irving
      The sound of the waits, rude as may be their minstrelsy, breaks upon the mild watches of a winter night with the effect of perfect harmony.

Translations

Related terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: sitting · Christ · begin · #789: wait · laughed · opportunity · lines

Anagrams


Elfdalian

Etymology

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

Adjective

wait

  1. white

Gothic

Romanization

wait

  1. Romanization of 𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍄

Tok Pisin

Etymology

From English white.

Adjective

wait

  1. white