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"
A certain duration of time, a period of time.
He lectured for quite a long while.
To pass (time) idly.
During the same time that.
He was sleeping while I was singing.
This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.
Origin: hwil. Cognate with wil.
space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a time; as, one while we thought him innocent
that which requires time; labor; pains
to cause to pass away pleasantly or without irksomeness or disgust; to spend or pass; -- usually followed by away
during the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep
hence, under which circumstances; in which case; though; whereas
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.]
"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
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.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #149
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Written Corpus Frequency: #554
Rank popularity for the word 'while' in Nouns Frequency: #744
The numerical value of while in Chaldean Numerology is: 2
The numerical value of while in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3
Examples of while in a Sentence
Images & Illustrations of while
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for while
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- عندما, بينماArabic
- estona, mentre, malgratCatalan, Valencian
- byť, chvíle, zatímcoCzech
- medens, mensDanish
- obwohl, Weilchen, Zeitspanne, solange, Weile, währendGerman
- καθώς, αν και, καίτοι, διάστημα, χρόνος, ενόσω, ενώ, περνώ, μολονότιGreek
- dum, kvankamEsperanto
- aunque, vagar, rato, siempre y cuando, mientrasSpanish
- aika, sillä aikaa kun, vaikka, samaan aikaan kunFinnish
- moment, quoique, tant, pendant que, bien que, tandis queFrench
- skoftWestern Frisian
- agus, tamallIrish
- greisScottish Gaelic
- mentres, namentres, entrementres, tempoGalician
- ben que, tempore, durante queInterlingua
- seraya, sementaraIndonesian
- dum ke, dumIdo
- benché, malgrado, mentreItalian
- 時, 間, ...ながらJapanese
- 하는 동안Korean
- ماوه, ئهگهرچیKurdish
- макар, иако, додекаMacedonian
- sementara, semasaMalay
- terwijl, tijdje, momentje, poosje, een hele tijdDutch
- stund, medan, mensNorwegian
- yínee'Navajo, Navaho
- chociaż, gdy, chwila, jakiś czasPolish
- embora, enquanto, malgrado, tempoPortuguese
- deși, în timp ceRomanian
- хотя, в то время, как, вре́мя, [[промежу́ток]] [[время, до тех пор, пока, покаRussian
- dok, докSerbo-Croatian
- stund, tag, fastän, medanSwedish
- rağmen, iken, -kenTurkish
- moumint, mågré ki, sol tins ki, houbonde, tins ki, hapêye, cwekiWalloon
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