The act of standing by without acting as you anticipate a future event or time is waiting. Waiting can be agonizing, especially waiting for something vitally important, like election results — or your birthday.

The word waiting is a noun used for a kind of action that's characterized by inaction or delay: "Generations of waiting produced no change in a city's discriminatory policies, so citizens planned a protest march." It's also a useful adjective, for things like waiting rooms, waiting lists, and waiting periods. In the old days the word was also used for certain servants, lords or ladies "in waiting" who waited on their employers.

Definitions of waiting
  1. noun
    the act of waiting (remaining inactive in one place while expecting something)
    synonyms: wait
    see moresee less
    type of:
    being inactive; being less active
  2. adjective
    being and remaining ready and available for use
    waiting cars and limousines lined the curb”
    “found her mother waiting for them”
    synonyms: ready and waiting
    completely prepared or in condition for immediate action or use or progress
Word Family