Definitions for whileʰwaɪl, waɪl

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word while

Princeton's WordNet

  1. while, piece, spell, patch(noun)

    a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by some action or condition

    "he was here for a little while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good weather"; "a patch of bad weather"


  1. while(Noun)

    A certain duration of time, a period of time.

    He lectured for quite a long while.

  2. while(Verb)

    To pass (time) idly.

  3. while(Conjunction)

    During the same time that.

    He was sleeping while I was singing.

  4. while(Conjunction)


    This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.

  5. while(Conjunction)


  6. Origin: hwil. Cognate with wil.

Webster Dictionary

  1. While(noun)

    space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a time; as, one while we thought him innocent

  2. While(noun)

    that which requires time; labor; pains

  3. While(verb)

    to cause to pass away pleasantly or without irksomeness or disgust; to spend or pass; -- usually followed by away

  4. While(verb)

    to loiter

  5. While

    during the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep

  6. While

    hence, under which circumstances; in which case; though; whereas

  7. While

    until; till

  8. Origin: [AS. hwl; akin to OS. hwl, hwla, OFries. hwle, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG. wla, hwla, hwl, Icel. hvla a bed, hvld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time, and probably to L. quietus quiet, and perhaps to Gr. the proper time of season. 20. Cf. Quiet, Whilom.]


  1. While

    "While" is a word in the English language that functions both as a noun and as a subordinating conjunction. Its meaning varies largely based on its intended function, position in the phrase and even the writer or speaker's regional dialect. As a conjunction, it is synonymous with the word "whilst", a form often considered archaic in American and Canadian English, as well as in some style guides on both sides of the Atlantic.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #149

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Written Corpus Frequency: #554

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Nouns Frequency: #744

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. President Obama:

    Not while I’m speaking.

  2. Phish:

    Can't I live while I'm young

  3. Charles Krauthammer:

    While you are walking the line.

  4. Jimi Hendrix:

    Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

  5. Marcus Tullius Cicero:

    While there's life, there's hope.

Images & Illustrations of while

Translations for while

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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