What does WHILE mean?

Definitions for WHILE
ʰwaɪl, waɪlWHILE

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word WHILE.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. while, piece, spell, patchnoun

    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"

Wiktionary

  1. whilenoun

    A certain duration of time, a period of time.

    He lectured for quite a long while.

    Etymology: hwil. Cognate with wil.

  2. whileverb

    To pass (time) idly.

    Etymology: hwil. Cognate with wil.

  3. whileconjunction

    During the same time that.

    He was sleeping while I was singing.

    Etymology: hwil. Cognate with wil.

  4. whileconjunction

    although

    This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.

    Etymology: hwil. Cognate with wil.

  5. whileconjunction

    until

    Etymology: hwil. Cognate with wil.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Whilenoun

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

    Etymology: [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.]

  2. Whilenoun

    that which requires time; labor; pains

    Etymology: [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.]

  3. Whileverb

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

    Etymology: [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.]

  4. Whileverb

    to loiter

    Etymology: [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.]

  5. While

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

    Etymology: [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.]

  6. While

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

    Etymology: [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.]

  7. While

    until; till

    Etymology: [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.]

Freebase

  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. While

    hwīl, n. a space of time: trouble spent.—adv. during the time that: at the same time that, as long as.—v.t. to cause to pass without irksomeness (with away).—conjs. While, Whilst, as long as: at the same time that: (Shak.) until; Whiles (B.), while, at the same time that.—adv. (Scot.) at times (orig. gen. of A.S. hwíl).—advs. Whī′lom, Whī′lome (Milt.), formerly, once (orig. dat. pl. of A.S. hwíl, time).—Every once in a while, now and then; The while (Shak.), in the meantime; The whilst (Shak.), while: in the meantime; Worth while, worth the trouble and time taken. [A.S. hwíl; Goth. hweila, Ger. weile.]

Editors Contribution

  1. while

    A period of known time.

    While at the shop we saw some new cheese we thought we'd try.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 19, 2020  

Matched Categories

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

How to pronounce WHILE?

How to say WHILE in sign language?

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of WHILE in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of WHILE in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of WHILE in a Sentence

  1. House Speaker Paul Ryan:

    While we don't yet know the details of the plan, the President is at minimum subverting the legislative branch, and potentially overturning its will, his proposals to restrict gun rights were debated by the United States Senate, and they were rejected. No President should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat, not even incrementally.

  2. Harry Kazianis:

    While The Trump strategy may work, my great fear is that North Korea will do what North Korea has always done : Pocket the concessions and economic aid and never give up North Korea nuclear weapons.

  3. Josh Duggar:

    I have been Josh Duggar ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife, i brought hurt and a reproach to my family, close friends and the fans of our show with my actions that happened when I was 14-15 years old, and now I have re-broken their trust.

  4. David Howman:

    While the NFL and Major League Baseball are not signatories to the World Anti-Doping Code, in recent years WADA has been working with them and other professional leagues in the United States to try to bring them closer to WADA's program, in particular with the NFL, we have been offering guidance to enhance, and increase the transparency of, their testing program.

  5. Maggie Gremminger:

    A stranger offered to hold her newborn while she sat on the floor, there in the airplane aisle. She was holding her dog and rocking back and forth. Her daughter was also crying.

Images & Illustrations of WHILE

  1. WHILEWHILEWHILEWHILEWHILE

Popularity rank by frequency of use

WHILE#1#308#10000

Translations for WHILE

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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