awhile

When you've been doing something awhile, you've been doing something for an indefinite amount of time: it could be a little while or a long while.

This is a word that's hard to figure out without context. Awhile always applies to time, but the amount of time can be small or large. You could say you've been waiting awhile in line at the bank: that might mean 15 minutes. On the other hand, if you haven't heard from a friend in months, you could say, "Wow... It's been awhile!" Like a bit or a load, you can't measure awhile.

Definitions of awhile
  1. adverb
    for a short time
    “sit down and stay awhile
    “they settled awhile in Virginia before moving West”
    synonyms: for a while
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week