from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To remain or rest in expectation: waiting for the guests to arrive. See Synonyms at stay1.
  • intransitive v. To tarry until another catches up.
  • intransitive v. To remain or be in readiness: lunch waiting on the table.
  • intransitive v. To remain temporarily neglected, unattended to, or postponed: The trip will have to wait.
  • intransitive v. To work as a waiter or waitress.
  • transitive v. To remain or stay in expectation of; await: wait one's turn.
  • transitive v. Informal To delay (a meal or an event); postpone: They waited lunch for us.
  • transitive v. To be a waiter or waitress at: wait tables.
  • n. The act of waiting or the time spent waiting.
  • n. Chiefly British One of a group of musicians employed, usually by a city, to play in parades or public ceremonies.
  • n. Chiefly British One of a group of musicians or carolers who perform in the streets at Christmastime.
  • on To serve the needs of; be in attendance on.
  • on To make a formal call on; visit.
  • on To follow as a result; depend on.
  • on To await: They're waiting on my decision.
  • wait out To delay until the termination of: wait out a war; waited out the miniskirt craze.
  • wait up To postpone going to bed in anticipation of something or someone.
  • wait up Informal To stop or pause so that another can catch up: Let's wait up for the stragglers.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To delay movement or action until the arrival or occurrence of; to await. (Now generally superseded by "wait for".)
  • v. To delay movement or action until some event or time; to remain neglected or in readiness.
  • v. To wait tables; to serve customers in a restaurant or other eating establishment.
  • n. A delay.
  • n. An ambush.
  • n. One who watches; a watchman.
  • n. plural Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of waiting; a delay; a halt.
  • n. Ambush.
  • n. One who watches; a watchman.
  • n. Hautboys, or oboes, played by town musicians; not used in the singular.
  • n. Musicians who sing or play at night or in the early morning, especially at Christmas time; serenaders; musical watchmen.
  • intransitive v. To watch; to observe; to take notice.
  • intransitive v. To stay or rest in expectation; to stop or remain stationary till the arrival of some person or event; to rest in patience; to stay; not to depart.
  • transitive v. To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await.
  • transitive v. To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany; to await.
  • transitive v. To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.
  • transitive v. To cause to wait; to defer; to postpone; -- said of a meal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To watch; be on the watch; lie in wait; look out.
  • To look forward to something; be in expectation: often with for.
  • To stay or rest in patience or expectation; remain in a state of quiescence or inaction, as till the arrival of some person or event, or till the proper moment or favorable opportunity for action: often with for.
  • To remain in readiness to execute orders; be ready to serve; be in waiting; perform the duties of an attendant or a servant; hence, to serve; supply the wants of persons at table.
  • To look at; look toward.
  • To lie in wait for.
  • To expect; look for.
  • To attend to; perform, as a duty.
  • To be ready to serve; do the bidding of.
  • To attend upon as a servant; act as attendant to; be in the service of.
  • To go to see; call upon; visit; attend.
  • To escort; accompany; attend; specifically, to attend as bridesmaid or groomsman.
  • To attend or follow as a consequence; be associated with; accompany.
  • To observe; examine; take notice of; expect; watch for; look out for.
  • To plan; scheme; contrive.
  • To seek.
  • To stay for; attend; await; expect.
  • To defer; put off; keep waiting: said of a meal.
  • To attend upon; accompany; escort.
  • To follow as a consequence of something; attend upon.
  • n. l. A watchman; a guard; also, a spy.
  • n. One of a body of musicians, especially in the seventeenth century in England.
  • n. An old variety of hautboy or shawm: so called because much used by the waits.
  • n. The act of watching; watchfulness.
  • n. An ambush; a trap; a plot: obsolete except in the phrase to lie in wait.
  • n. The act of waiting: as, a wait for the train at a station.
  • n. Time occupied in waiting; delay; an interval of waiting; specifically, in theatrical language, the time between two acts. Compare stage-wait.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. wait before acting
  • v. stay in one place and anticipate or expect something
  • v. look forward to the probable occurrence of
  • n. time during which some action is awaited
  • n. the act of waiting (remaining inactive in one place while expecting something)
  • v. serve as a waiter or waitress in a restaurant


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English waiten, from Old North French waitier, to watch, of Germanic origin; see weg- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English waiten, wayten, from Old Northern French waiter, waitier (compare French guetter from Old French gaiter, guaitier), from Old Frankish *wahtōn, *wahtjan (“to watch, guard”), derivative of *wahta ("guard, watch"), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (“guard, watch”), from Proto-Indo-European *weǵ- (“to be fresh, cheerful, awake”). Cognate with Old High German wahtēn ("to watch, guard"), Dutch wachten ("to wait, expect"), French guetter ("to watch out for"), North Frisian wachtjen ("to stand, stay put"). More at watch.



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