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. The Supreme Court in December:

    Decisions taken or to be taken by the National Assembly while these citizens are incorporated will be absolutely null.

  2. Aric Almirola:

    I have a short window to spend with them while they still think dad’s cool, before you know it they’re gonna have car keys, and they’re gonna be running off with their friends and I’m gonna miss it, and, so, I don’t want to miss it.

  3. Noah Bonsey:

    But it seems to be the rebel side that is more concerned about the trajectory at this moment, while the regime camp enjoys momentum, the regime itself never showed much openness for compromise even in its most vulnerable moments, so we can expect its current sense of momentum to further reinforce maximalism as Damascus pushes for a decisive military upper hand.

  4. Pat Keon:

    Despite the turmoil in China, equities continued the trend we’ve seen for most of 2015 for mutual funds, non-domestic equity funds took in net new money for the week, while domestic equity funds saw money leave their coffers.

  5. Karen Delmonaco:

    I was waiting for them for a while. I got the confirmation that they were there. I came home, they were gone.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

while#1#308#10000

Translations for while

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    Lengthy word or many syllables.
    • A. irascible
    • B. bibulous
    • C. sesquipedalian
    • D. lank

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