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?

  1. Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Indian

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. Cara Charles-Barks:

    We are working with the police to understand the circumstances surrounding this incident and it would be inappropriate to make further comment at this time, while we establish how they became unwell.

  2. Jeff Tjornehoj:

    While we’re very unlikely to see the US$20bn-plus outflows of the previous few years, these funds will continue to struggle with redemptions this year.

  3. The IAAF:

    I contacted them earlier this year about the case of some Russian walkers that were competing while they were banned. . Tallent wants drug cheats named and shamed, worrying that if they go unpunished, clean competitors could unfairly be tarred with the same brush.

  4. Mike Shirkey:

    We will prepare to comply with this most recent ruling while we await the outcome of the appeal.

  5. RVM:

    A woman was counting her grams of gold in Sorrow while another, who had nothing, still counted her Blessings in Joy. Happiness is not what you HAVE, but how you FEEL.

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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    light informal conversation for social occasions
    • A. chin-wag
    • B. arbalist
    • C. schlockmeister
    • D. rung

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