views updated

wait / wāt/ • v. [intr.] 1. stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens: he did not wait for a reply they will wait on a Supreme Court ruling | Ben stood on the street corner waiting to cross | [tr.] I had to wait my turn to play. ∎  remain in readiness for some purpose: he found the car waiting on the platform. ∎  be left until a later time before being dealt with: we shall need a statement later, but that will have to wait. ∎  [tr.] inf. defer (a meal) until a person's arrival: he will wait supper for me. ∎  (wait on/upon) chiefly Brit. await the convenience of: we can't wait on the government; we have to do it ourselves. 2. (cannot wait) used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen: I can't wait for tomorrow | I can't wait to get started again. 3. act as a waiter or waitress, serving food and drink: a local man was employed to wait on them at table | [tr.] we had to wait tables in the mess hall. • n. [in sing.] a period of waiting: we had a long wait. PHRASES: wait and see wait to find out what will happen before doing or deciding something.you wait used to convey a threat, warning, or promise: just you wait till your father comes home!PHRASAL VERBS: wait on (or upon) act as an attendant to (someone): a maid was appointed to wait on her. ∎  serve (a customer) in a store. ∎ archaic pay a respectful visit to. wait up 1. not go to bed until someone arrives or something happens. 2. go more slowly or stop until someone catches up.

More From encyclopedia.com

About this article


Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article

You Might Also Like