- 1Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens: he did not wait for a reply we’re waiting for Allan to get back they will wait on a Supreme Court ruling [with infinitive]: Ben stood on the street corner waiting to cross [with object]: I had to wait my turn to playMore example sentences
- To get the longest term go for a card deal that waits until the money hits your new account.
- They sat in the large leather armchairs to wait the arrival of the man on whom so much depended.
- I peeked through the window behind my back and saw a young woman waiting in the car.
- 1.2Remain in readiness for some purpose: he found the train waiting at the platformMore example sentences
- At the road end our bus was waiting to take us back to Te Anau and the end of a memorable experience.
- It isn't too far from here, and he'll probably have some food waiting when we get there.
- There was a taxi waiting where the aircraft came to a halt so that they could avoid the muddy dirt of the airfield.
- 1.3Be left until a later time before being dealt with: we shall need a statement later, but that will have to waitMore example sentences
be postponed, be delayed, be put off, be deferred• informal be put on the back burner, be put on ice
- Signing Dillon to a long-term deal is a priority, but it will wait until the off season.
- Postpone those decisions that can wait until you feel more able to deal with them.
- Subtitled ‘another side of Cirque du Soleil,’ this one'll have to wait till the kids are in bed.
- 1.4 [with object] • informal Defer (a meal) until a person’s arrival: he will wait supper for meMore example sentences
- He'd kept everything warm in the oven for her and Ashton agreed to wait dinner on her as he wasn't hungry.
- 2 (cannot wait) Used to indicate that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen: I can’t wait for tomorrow [with infinitive]: I can’t wait to get started againMore example sentences
- My head was full of ideas for my new design all day and I couldn't wait to get home and try them out.
- It was my first present from him and I felt so gorgeous in it that I couldn't wait to show it off.
- Some people here couldn't wait to get rid of him, but look at what he has achieved.
- 3Act as a waiter or waitress, serving food and drink: a local man was employed to wait on them at table [with object]: we had to wait tables in the mess hallMore example sentences
- Seneca ridiculed a wealthy man because he kept a handsome slave who was dressed like a woman when he waited at table.
- He was one of the footmen who waited at table.
- If the truth be known, waiting tables was my only income.
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- 1 [in singular] A period of waiting: we had a long waitMore example sentences
- Show up early, because no matter what time you go, there will be an interminable wait.
- Unfortunately, a train has just left the station, and it will be quite a wait for the next one.
- Desperate motorists say they face an hour wait when trying to leave the car park at the end of the day.
- 2 (waits) British • archaic Street singers of Christmas carols.More example sentences
- Originally they were mummers, performing traditional plays, and they then became known as waits, who would tour the town every evening before Christmas.
- 2.1 • historical Official bands of musicians maintained by a city or town.More example sentences
- He wrote music for the London theatres in the early part of the 17th century, and in 1622 joined the waits of the City of London.
wait and see
- Wait to find out what will happen before doing or deciding something.More example sentences
- Well, we have to wait and see in this case if the defense is going to put in for bail.
- As to whether we have a capacity to go any further in future Budgets, you'll have to wait and see.
- However, Sligo must wait and see what the new team for the constituency will deliver.
- Used to convey a threat, warning, or promise: just you wait till your father comes home!More example sentences
- Oh that reminds me I also have to brush up on my French, because I'm gonna be fluent by the end of summer, just you wait.
wait on (or upon)
- 1Act as an attendant to (someone): a maid was appointed to wait on herMore 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.
- 1.2 • archaic Pay a respectful visit to.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.
- 2chiefly British Await the convenience of: we can’t wait on the government; we have to do it ourselvesMore 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.
- 1Not go to bed until someone arrives or something happens.More example sentences
- Manager Don Givens waited up until 4am for the player to return to HQ, at which point he gave up and went to bed.
- Thousands of Swindon youngsters will be eagerly waiting up for Santa to drop down the chimney tonight.
- If you're waiting up all night for a husband who comes home after the kids are in bed, you might feel you're missing out.
- 2North American Go more slowly or stop until someone catches up.More example sentences
stop, slow down, hold on, wait for me
- I sassed when he caught up with me as I didn't wait up for him like he asked me too.
- We rode towards Baker Lake, but before reaching the lake stopped to wait up for Michael and Cathy.
- Katrina stared open-mouthed and then after a moment of hesitation, she followed Ashley, shouting for her to wait up.
Middle English: from Old Northern French waitier, of Germanic origin; related to wake1. Early senses included 'lie in wait (for)', 'observe carefully', and 'be watchful'.