Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To remain or rest in expectation: synonym: stay.
  • intransitive verb To stay in one place until another catches up.
  • intransitive verb To remain or be in readiness.
  • intransitive verb To remain temporarily neglected, unattended to, or postponed.
  • intransitive verb To work as a waiter or waitress.
  • intransitive verb To remain or stay in expectation of; await.
  • intransitive verb Informal To delay (a meal or an event); postpone.
  • intransitive verb To be a waiter or waitress at.
  • noun The act of waiting or the time spent waiting.
  • noun One of a group of musicians employed, usually by a city, to play in parades or public ceremonies.
  • noun One of a group of musicians or carolers who perform in the streets at Christmastime.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun l. A watchman; a guard; also, a spy.
  • noun One of a body of musicians, especially in the seventeenth century in England.
  • noun An old variety of hautboy or shawm: so called because much used by the waits.
  • noun The act of watching; watchfulness.
  • noun An ambush; a trap; a plot: obsolete except in the phrase to lie in wait.
  • noun The act of waiting: as, a wait for the train at a station.
  • noun Time occupied in waiting; delay; an interval of waiting; specifically, in theatrical language, the time between two acts. Compare stage-wait.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To stay for; to rest or remain stationary in expectation of; to await.
  • transitive verb obsolete To attend as a consequence; to follow upon; to accompany; to await.
  • transitive verb obsolete To attend on; to accompany; especially, to attend with ceremony or respect.

Etymologies

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.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.