Pronunciation Noun

while (plural whiles)

  1. An uncertain duration of time, a period of time.
    He lectured for quite a long while.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Conjunction
  1. During the same time that.
    He was sleeping while I was singing.
    • 1948, Carey McWilliams, North from Mexico / The Spanish-Speaking People of The United States, J. B. Lippincott Company, page 25,
      While De Anza was exploring the Bay of San Francisco, seeking a site for the presidio, the American colonists on the eastern seaboard, three thousand miles away, were celebrating the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
  2. Although.
    This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.
    • 2013 September 28, Kenan Malik, "London Is Special, but Not That Special ↗," New York Times (retrieved 28 September 2013):
      While Britain’s recession has been deep and unforgiving, in London it has been relatively shallow.
  3. (Northern England, Scotland) Until.
    I'll wait while you've finished painting.
  4. As long as.
    While you're at school you may live at home.
    • Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement, while you take care not to overload it.
  5. (media, public policy) Used to denote an individual experiencing racial profiling#English|racial profiling when performing a seemingly benign activity.
    He was detained for four hours at the store yesterday. His crime? Shopping while black.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Preposition
  1. (Northern England, Scotland) Until.
    • c. 1613, Thomas Middleton; William Rowley, “Wit at Several Weapons. A Comedy.”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
      I may be conveyed into your chamber; I'll lie under your bed while midnight.

while (whiles, present participle whiling; past and past participle whiled)

  1. (transitive) To pass (time) idly.
    • The lovely lady whiled the hours away.
    Synonyms: idle, laze, lounge
  2. To loiter.
    Synonyms: hang around, linger
Synonyms Related terms

  • Russian: корота́ть вре́мя
  • Spanish: vagar

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