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Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (intransitive)


Noun wait has 2 senses

Verb wait has 4 senses


waitv. i. [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, v. i.].
  •  To watch; to observe; to take notice.  [1913 Webster]
    "“But [unless] ye wait well and be privy,
    I wot right well, I am but dead,” quoth she.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  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.  [1913 Webster]
    "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come."  [1913 Webster]
    "They also serve who only stand and wait."  [1913 Webster]
    "Haste, my dear father; 't is no time to wait."  [1913 Webster]
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.
waitv. t. 
  •  To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await; as, to wait orders.  [1913 Webster]
    "Awed with these words, in camps they still abide,
    And wait with longing looks their promised guide.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany; to await.  [1913 Webster]
  •  To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.  [1913 Webster]
    "He chose a thousand horse, the flower of all
    His warlike troops, to wait the funeral.
    "  [1913 Webster]
    "Remorse and heaviness of heart shall wait thee,
    And everlasting anguish be thy portion.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  To cause to wait; to defer; to postpone; -- said of a meal; as, to wait dinner.  [1913 Webster]
waitn. [OF. waite, guaite, gaite, F. guet watch, watching, guard, from OHG. wahta. See Wait, v. i.].
  •  The act of waiting; a delay; a halt.  [1913 Webster]
    "There is a wait of three hours at the border Mexican town of El Paso."  [1913 Webster]
  •  Ambush.  Milton.  [1913 Webster]
  •  One who watches; a watchman.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians; not used in the singular.  Halliwell.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen.  [1913 Webster]
    "Hark! are the waits abroad?"  [1913 Webster]
    "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."  [1913 Webster]
To lay wait, to prepare an ambuscade. -- To lie in wait. See under 4th Lie.


wait, v. & n.
1 intr. a defer action or departure for a specified time or until some expected event occurs (wait a minute; wait till I come; wait for a fine day). b be expectant or on the watch (waited to see what would happen). c (foll. by for) refrain from going so fast that (a person) is left behind (wait for me!).
2 tr. await (an opportunity, one's turn, etc.).
3 tr. defer (a meal etc.) until a person's arrival.
4 intr. (usu. as waiting n.) park a vehicle for a short time at the side of a road etc. (no waiting).
5 intr. a (in full wait at or US on table) act as a waiter or as a servant with similar functions. b act as an attendant.
6 intr. (foll. by on, upon) a await the convenience of. b serve as an attendant to. c pay a respectful visit to.
1 a period of waiting (had a long wait for the train).
2 (usu. foll. by for) watching for an enemy; ambush (lie in wait; lay wait).
3 (in pl.) Brit. a archaic street singers of Christmas carols. b hist. official bands of musicians maintained by a city or town.

cannot wait 1 is impatient.
2 needs to be dealt with immediately. can wait need not be dealt with immediately. wait-a-bit a plant with hooked thorns etc. that catch the clothing. wait and see await the progress of events.
wait for it! colloq.
1 do not begin before the proper moment.
2 used to create an interval of suspense before saying something unexpected or amusing. wait on Austral., NZ, & N.Engl. be patient, wait. wait up (often foll. by for) not go to bed until a person arrives or an event happens. you wait! used to imply a threat, warning, or promise.
ME f. ONF waitier f. Gmc, rel. to WAKE(1)



abide, administer to, afterthought, attend, attend on, await, ballad singer, balladeer, bard, be patient, bear with composure, bide, bide the issue, bind, block, blockage, bureaucratic delay, care for, carry on, carry through, chore, dally, dance attendance upon, dawdle, delay, delayage, delayed reaction, detention, dillydally, do for, do service to, double take, dragging, drudge, fili, folk singer, folk-rock singer, forbear, gleeman, halt, hang about, hang around, hang-up, help, hindrance, hold everything, hold on, hold your horses, holdup, interim, jam, jongleur, lackey, lag, lagging, linger, logjam, loiter, look after, maid, mark time, minister to, minnesinger, minstrel, moratorium, obstruction, pander to, paperasserie, pause, red tape, red-tapeism, red-tapery, remain, reprieve, respite, retardance, retardation, rhapsode, rhapsodist, scop, serenader, serve, sit tight, sit up, sit up for, slow-up, slowdown, slowness, stay, stay of execution, stay up, stay up for, stick, stick around, stop, stoppage, street singer, strolling minstrel, suspension, sweat, sweat it out, sweat out, take care of, take time, tarry, tend, tie-up, time lag, troubadour, trovatore, upon, valet, wait a minute, wait and see, wait for, wait it out, wait on, wait up for, wandering minstrel, watch, watch and wait, work for




VB not do, not act, not attempt, be inactive, abstain from doing, do nothing, hold, spare, not stir, not move, not lift a finger, not lift a foot, not lift a peg, fold one's arms, fold one's hands, leave alone, let alone, let be, let pass, let things take their course, let it have its way, let well alone, let well enough alone, quieta non movere, stare super antiquas vias, rest and be thankful, live and let live, lie rest upon one's oars, laisser aller, faire, stand aloof, refrain, keep oneself from doing, remit one's efforts, relax one's efforts, desist, stop, pause, wait, lie in wait, bide one's time, take time, tide it over, cool one's heels, kick one's heels, while away the time, while away tedious hours, pass the time, fill up the time, beguile the time, talk against time, let the grass grow under one's feet, waste time, lie by, lie on the shelf, lie in ordinary, lie idle, lie to, lie fallow, keep quiet, slug, have nothing to do, whistle for want of thought, undo, do away with, take down, take to pieces, destroy.


VB be late, tarry, wait, stay, bide, take time, dawdle, linger, loiter, bide one's time, take one's time, gain time, hang fire, stand over, lie over, put off, defer, delay, lay over, suspend, table, shift off, stave off, waive, retard, remand, postpone, adjourn, procrastinate, dally, prolong, protract, spin out, draw out, lengthen out, stretch out, prorogue, keep back, tide over, push to the last, drive to the last, let the matter stand over, reserve, temporize, consult one's pillow, sleep on it, lose an opportunity, be kept waiting, dance attendance, kick one's heels, cool one's heels, faire antichambre, wait impatiently, await, sit up, sit up at night.

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