Share this entry

meanwhile Line breaks: mean|while
Pronunciation: /ˈmiːnwʌɪl/

Definition of meanwhile in English:


1 (also in the meanwhile) In the intervening period of time: meanwhile, I will give you a prescription for some pills
More example sentences
  • President Eisenhower was furious and the Soviets, meanwhile, threatened to intervene on behalf of Egypt.
  • And in the meanwhile, they managed to reach the 2.6GHz frequency.
  • But in the meanwhile, something new looms on our horizon.
for now, for the moment, for the present, for the time being, meantime, in the meantime, in the intervening period, in the interim, in the interval, in the meanwhile, the while, temporarily;
Frenchen attendant
1.1At the same time: steam for a further five minutes; meanwhile, make a white sauce
More example sentences
  • I glared with horror at Lucien for his crude statement, all in the meanwhile backing away from the two of them in an embarrassing attempt to hide my appalling state.
at the same time, simultaneously, concurrently, the while
2On the other hand: he has said little, meanwhile, about how he plans to live his life
More example sentences
  • Luke, meanwhile, was still safe in the preserve of private school, where he might be subject to the push and pull of peer pressure, but was better isolated from the starkness of the bankrupt city around us.
  • Denton, meanwhile, suggests that it's wrong to judge the franchises on their (admittedly patchy) short-term results.
  • Vega, meanwhile, sounds as menacing as before.


Late Middle English: from mean3 + while.

Words that rhyme with meanwhile

turnstile • servile

Definition of meanwhile in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...