Share this entry

Share this page

wait on (or upon)

Definition of wait on or upon in English:

1Act as an attendant to: a maid was appointed to wait on her
More example sentences
  • Where once convicts were forced to hop around the exercise yard in the blazing sun, they now sunbathe in deckchairs, waited on by the guards.
  • I had to help with the preparations, taking time out from the demanding task of waiting on His Grace to assist with everything from cooking to candle making.
  • Palmerin is taken to Constantinople and appointed to wait on his cousin Polinarda, with whom he falls in love; while Floriano is taken to London and appointed to wait on Flerida.
Synonyms
serve, attend to, tend, cater for/to, act as a waitress/waiter to;
1.1 archaic Pay a respectful visit to: a deputation had waited upon Lords Salisbury, Redesdale, and Roxburghe
More example sentences
  • The latter is very unpopular, & a deputation of ministers waited upon C, asking that he should be removed as he was not playing the game.
  • It states that any deputation waiting on a Minister or member after a demonstration is limited to six.
2Await the convenience of: to see the full series, we will have to wait on the BBC
More example sentences
  • Cancer patients recovering in hospital will no longer have to wait on the postman for their get well soon cards.
  • The rest of the group sat and waited on her patiently.
  • The problem is that we're waiting on the justice system.
2.1Australian /NZ & Northern English informal Refrain from doing something until something else happens: wait on, I’ve an important message for you
More example sentences
  • She had decided to wait on telling Fredi until the perfect moment, so she had to pretend as if nothing were wrong.
  • We'll wait on the beets until the next crop comes in with fresh tops.
  • Also, sex is something that one should wait on until you are ready.
See parent entry: wait

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkʌmbəs(ə)m
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…