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Synonyms of wait in English:


  • 1 they waited in the airport for two hours
    stay, remain, rest, linger, loiter, dally, stop, stay put
    archaic bide, tarry
    [Antonyms] leave
  • 2 she had to wait until her passport came through
    stand by, hold back, be patient, bide one's time, hang fire, mark time, kill time, waste time, cool one's heels, kick one's heels, twiddle one's thumbs;
    pause, stop, cease, halt, discontinue, rest
    informal hold on, hang around, sit tight, hold one's horses, sweat it out
    British informal hang about
  • 3 they were waiting for the kettle to boil
    anticipate, expect, be ready, be in readiness;
    long for, hope for, count the days until
  • 4 it will have to wait until we've got some money
    be postponed, be delayed, be put off, be held back, be deferred
    informal be put on the back burner, be put on ice
  • 5 informal we've waited dinner for forty minutes
    delay, postpone, put off, hold off, hold back, defer
  • Phrases

    wait on
    the men ate in silence, waited on by the two girls
    serve, attend to, tend, cater for/to, act as a waitress/waiter to;
    wait up
    I'll be back late—don't wait up for me
    stay awake, stay up, keep vigil


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  • we resigned ourselves to a long wait
    delay, hold-up, period of waiting, interval, interlude, intermission, pause, break, stay, cessation, suspension, detention, check, stoppage, halt, interruption, lull, respite, recess, postponement, discontinuation, moratorium, hiatus, gap, lapse, rest, entr'acte
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