wait

A wait is the time it takes for something to happen. The wait to get the brand new computer was four hours long, but it was worth it.

The word wait originated in the 1200s, from the Old Northern French word waitier: "to watch with hostile intent." Even back then, people didn't like to wait. Anticipating something that will happen is waiting, though sometimes what you wait for never comes — like Godot, who never shows up in the play "Waiting for Godot." When you wait to do something, you delay. When you wait tables, you serve people, preferably without delay.

Definitions of wait
  1. noun
    time during which some action is awaited
    synonyms: delay, hold, postponement, time lag
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    types:
    extension
    a mutually agreed delay in the date set for the completion of a job or payment of a debt
    moratorium
    a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
    retardation
    the extent to which something is delayed or held back
    type of:
    break, intermission, interruption, pause, suspension
    a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
  2. noun
    the act of waiting (remaining inactive in one place while expecting something)
    “the wait was an ordeal for him”
    synonyms: waiting
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    type of:
    inactivity
    being inactive; being less active
  3. verb
    stay in one place and anticipate or expect something
    “I had to wait on line for an hour to get the tickets”
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    types:
    ambuscade, ambush, bushwhack, lie in wait, lurk, scupper, waylay
    wait in hiding to attack
    cool one's heels, kick one's heels
    wait or pass the time aimlessly or futilely; be kept waiting
    stand by, stick about, stick around
    be available or ready for a certain function or service
  4. verb
    wait before acting
    synonyms: hold back, hold off
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    types:
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    hold out
    wait uncompromisingly for something desirable
    delay
    act later than planned, scheduled, or required
    hesitate, pause
    interrupt temporarily an activity before continuing
    dilly-dally, dillydally, drag one's feet, drag one's heels, procrastinate, shillyshally, stall
    postpone doing what one should be doing
    procrastinate
    postpone or delay needlessly
    defer, hold over, postpone, prorogue, put off, put over, remit, set back, shelve, table
    hold back to a later time
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  5. verb
    look forward to the probable occurrence of
    “he is waiting to be drafted”
    synonyms: await, expect, look
    anticipate, expect
    regard something as probable or likely
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    types:
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    expect
    look forward to the birth of a child
    look forward
    expect or hope for
    look to
    turn one's interests or expectations towards
    hang on, hold on, hold the line
    hold the phone line open
    anticipate, look for, look to
    be excited or anxious about
    apprehend, quail at
    anticipate with dread or anxiety
  6. verb
    serve as a waiter or waitress in a restaurant
    “I'm waiting on tables at Maxim's”
    synonyms: waitress
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    type of:
    work
    exert oneself by doing mental or physical work for a purpose or out of necessity
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