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American English: /(h)waɪl/
British English: /wʌɪl/

Translation of while in Spanish:


  • 1 (in time) they like to sing while they work
    les gusta cantar mientras trabajan
    keys cut while you wait
    se hacen llaves al momento
    they don't drink while on duty
    no beben cuando or mientras están de guardia
    while I live, you need not worry about …
    mientras viva or mientras yo esté, no tendrás que preocuparte de …
  • 2 (though) while he's not exactly brilliant, he's a good student
    aunque no es lo que se dice brillante, es buen estudiante
    the situation, while tense, seems unlikely to lead to war
    la situación aunque tensa, no es probable que lleve a una guerra
    one must encourage them, while not raising their hopes unrealistically
    hay que animarlos, pero sin crearles expectativas falsas
    Example sentences
    • In fact, while they are labeled as such, they are not really fantasy stories in the genre sense.
    • In fact, while the experiment was, of necessity, painful, it was far from worthless.
    • The fact remains that, while horses may not die of foot-and-mouth, they do carry the disease.
  • 3 (whereas)
    en tanto que [formal]
    I'm Catholic, while Debbie is Jewish
    soy católico, mientras que Debbie es judía
    soy católico, en tanto que Debbie es judía [formal]
    Example sentences
    • Danny Slatter has signed a one-year contract, while Russell Edwards has been released.
    • Some sought to contradict him, while others tried, unsuccessfully, to ignore his prying.
    • Spain is increasing the size of its fishing fleet while ours is contracting.


  • 1 (period of time) wait a while
    (a few days, weeks) espera un tiempo
    (a few minutes, hours) espera un rato
    (a very short period) espera un ratito or un momentito
    it's a while since we had any news
    hace tiempo que no tenemos noticias
    a little while later he was back
    al ratito or al poco rato estaba de vuelta
    it's been a good while since we had any rain
    hace bastante (tiempo) que no llueve
    he was here a little while ago
    hace un ratito estaba aquí
    it happened a long while ago
    pasó hace mucho (tiempo)
    it took us quite a while to find it
    tardamos bastante tiempo or un buen rato en encontrarlo
    after a while she realized
    después de or al cabo de un rato se dio cuenta
    she knew all the while that he was dead
    supo desde el principio que estaba muerto
    I've been waiting all this while
    hace tanto rato que estoy esperando
    they lived in Spain for a while
    vivieron un tiempo en España
    sit down for a while
    siéntate un rato or ratito
    I'm just going out for a little while
    voy a salir un ratito or momentito
    for a while there, you had me really worried
    me tuviste realmente preocupada un rato
    I'll be back in a little while
    enseguida vuelvo
    she'll be here in a short while
    llegará dentro de un ratito
    I haven't tasted caviar in a very long while
    hace mucho tiempo que no pruebo caviar
    it's the first time in a long while that she's missed a meeting
    es la primera vez en mucho tiempo que falta a una reunión
  • 2 (in phrases) (every) once in a while (all) the while [literary] [archaic]he told us endless lies, smiling (all) the while
    nos dijo una mentira tras otra al tiempo que or mientras sonreía
    see alsoworth 1 2

Phrasal verbs

while away

verb + adverb + object, verb + object + adverb
we had a game of chess to while away the time
jugamos una partida de ajedrez para pasar el rato or matar el tiempo
she whiled away the hours by reading Anna Karenina
se entretuvo or mató el tiempo leyendo Ana Karenina
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