UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈweɪt/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/weɪt/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(wāt)

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
wait /weɪt/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. to remain in a place and not do anything until something expected happens: [no object]We waited until the bus came.[no object;  (~ + for + object)]We've been waiting for the bus.[+ object + for + object]We waited a week for your letter.[+ to + verb]We waited to see you.
  2. to be available or in readiness:[no object]A letter is waiting for you on your desk.
  3. to remain neglected for a time:[not: be + ~-ing;  no object]That matter can wait until later.
  4. [no object] to (cause to) be postponed or delayed:Your vacation will have to wait until next spring.[+ object]to wait a week.
  5. to look forward to eagerly:[+ for + object]to wait for a chance to get even.
  6. wait on, [+ on + object]
    • to serve food or drink to.
    • to attend to the needs of (a customer):Is someone waiting on you?
    • to be a servant for.
    • [Informal.]to wait for;
  7. wait out, [+ out + object] to postpone or delay action until the end of:We decided to wait out the storm.
  8. wait up, [no object] to postpone going to bed in order to await someone's arrival.

n. [countable]
  1. an act or period of waiting.
  1. Idiomslie in wait, to wait in ambush so as to surprise another.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
wait  (wāt),USA pronunciation  v.i. 
  1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often fol. by for, till, or until):to wait for the bus to arrive.
  2. (of things) to be available or in readiness:A letter is waiting for you.
  3. to remain neglected for a time:a matter that can wait.
  4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed:We waited a week and then bought the house. Your vacation will have to wait until next month.
  5. to look forward to eagerly:I'm just waiting for the day somebody knocks him down.

  1. to continue as one is in expectation of;
    await:to wait one's turn at a telephone booth.
  2. to postpone or delay in expectation:Don't wait supper for me.
  3. [Archaic.](of things) to be in readiness for;
    be reserved for;
    await:Glory waits thee.
  4. [Archaic.]to attend upon or escort, esp. as a sign of respect.
  5. wait on: 
    • to perform the duties of an attendant or servant for.
    • to supply the wants of a person, as serving a meal or serving a customer in a store.
    • to call upon or visit (a person, esp. a superior):to wait on Her Majesty at the palace.
    • Sport[Falconry.](of a hawk) to soar over ground until prey appears.
    • Dialect Terms[Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.]to wait for (a person);
    • Also,  wait upon. to await (an event).
  6. wait table. See  table (def. 21).
  7. wait up: 
    • to postpone going to bed to await someone's arrival.
    • Informal Termsto halt and wait for another to join one, as in running or walking:Wait up, I can't walk so fast.

  1. an act or instance of waiting or awaiting;
    halt:a wait at the border.
  2. a period or interval of waiting:There will be a long wait between trains.
  3. Show Business[Theat.]
    • the time between two acts, scenes, or the like.
    • See  stage wait. 
  4. British Terms
    • waits, (formerly) a band of musicians employed by a city or town to play music in parades, for official functions, etc.
    • a street musician, esp. a singer.
    • one of a band of carolers.
    • a piece sung by carolers, esp. a Christmas carol.
  5. [Obs.]a watchman.
  6. lie in wait, to wait in ambush:The army lay in wait in the forest.
  • Anglo-French derivative of waitier
  • Gmc; cognate with Old High German wahtēn to watch, derivative of wahta a watch (see wake1); (noun, nominal) late Middle English
  • Anglo-French waitier; Old French guaitier
  • (verb, verbal) early Middle English waiten 1150–1200
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged await, linger, abide, delay.
      Wait, tarry imply pausing to linger and thereby putting off further activity until later.
      Wait usually implies staying for a limited time and for a definite purpose, that is, for something expected:to wait for a train.Tarry is a somewhat archaic word for
      wait, but it suggests lingering, perhaps aimlessly delaying, or pausing (briefly) in a journey:to tarry on the way home; to tarry overnight at an inn.
    10. e, f. Sometimes considered objectionable in standard usage, the idiom wait on meaning "to wait for, to await (a person)'' is largely confined to speech or written representations of speech. It is most common in the Midland and Southern United States:Let's not wait on Rachel, she's always late.Wait on or upon (an event) does not have a regional pattern and occurs in a wide variety of contexts:We will wait on(or upon) his answer and make our decision then. The completion of the merger waits upon news of a drop in interest rates.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
wait /weɪt/ vb
  1. when intr, often followed by for, until, or to: to stay in one place or remain inactive in expectation (of something); hold oneself in readiness (for something)
  2. to delay temporarily or be temporarily delayed: that work can wait
  3. when intr, usually followed by for: (of things) to be in store (for a person)
  4. (intransitive) to act as a waiter or waitress
  1. the act or an instance of waiting
  2. a period of waiting
  3. (plural) rare a band of musicians who go around the streets, esp at Christmas, singing and playing carols
  4. lie in waitto prepare an ambush (for someone)

See also wait on, wait upEtymology: 12th Century: from Old French waitier; related to Old High German wahtēn to wake1
'wait' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):
Collocations: wait and see, a [long, short, quick] wait (for), wait there, more...

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