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, 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.

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.]

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

How to say while in sign language?

  1. while


  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. President Obama:

    Not while I’m speaking.

  2. Julie Mignerey:

    It's going to take a while.

  3. Phish:

    Can't I live while I'm young

  4. Charles Krauthammer:

    While you are walking the line.

  5. Marco Rubio:

    While we are on the right side.

Images & Illustrations of while

  1. whilewhilewhilewhilewhile

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for while

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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