From King Dictionary of Contemporary Englishldoce_757_zwaitwait1 /weɪt/ ●●● S1 W1 verb 1 not go/start something [intransitive]WAIT to stay somewhere or not do something until something else happens, someone arrives etc Hurry up! Everyone’s waiting. Would you mind waiting outside?wait for a queue of people waiting for a bus Wait for me!wait for somebody/something to do something She paused, waiting for Myles to say something. I sat waiting patiently for the wedding to end.wait until/till I’ll wait till you come back.wait (for) three hours/two weeks etc Can you wait for five minutes? We’ve been waiting ages.wait to do something Are you waiting to use the phone?keep somebody waiting (=make someone wait, especially by arriving late) I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.GrammarYou wait for something or someone: I waited for the next bus. Don’t say: I waited the next bus.You wait for someone to do something, or for something to happen: She waited for him to finish speaking. Don’t say: She waited him to finish speaking.2 something has not happened [intransitive]EXPECT if you are waiting for something that you expect or hope will happen or arrive, it has not happened or arrived yet ‘Have you heard about the job?’ ‘No, I’m still waiting.’wait for I’m still waiting for my results.wait for somebody/something to do something I’m waiting for him to realize how stupid he’s been.3 wait a minute/second/moment etc4 somebody can’t wait/can hardly wait5 something can/can’t wait6 wait and see7 wait until/till ...8 be waiting (for somebody)9 wait your turn10 something is (well) worth waiting for11 (just) you wait12 what are you waiting for?13 what are we waiting for?14 wait for it15 be waiting in the wings16 wait tables17 (play) a/the waiting gameCOLLOCATIONSadverbswait two hours/ten minutes etcWilliam waited an hour for his sister to arrive.wait long (=wait a long time – used especially in questions or negative sentences)She did not have to wait long for a train.wait ages informal esp British English (=wait a long time)I had to wait ages for a bus.patientlyThey patiently waited for the rain to stop.impatientlyHe waited impatiently for a reply.anxiouslyAll his friends were waiting anxiously for their exam results.wait expectantly (=hoping that something good or exciting will happen soon)He took out his camera and waited expectantly.phraseskeep somebody waitingHe kept us waiting for half an hour.wait with bated breath (=while feeling very anxious or excited)She waited with bated breath to see what he would say.wait in vain (=wait for something that never happens)They waited in vain for their son to come home. THESAURUSwait to stay somewhere or not do something until something else happens, someone arrives etcI’ll wait here while you call him.He said he was waiting for a friend.hang around (also hang about British English) informal to wait in a place not doing anything, especially so that you are wasting timeThey kept us hanging around for hours at the hospital.hold on/hang on to wait because you are hoping that something will happenThe captain decided it was best to hold on and wait for the other ship to arrive.We hung on until the very last moment.can you hold on/hang on? spoken used when telling someone to waitCan you hang on a minute? I just want to finish this email.stand by/be on standby to wait and be ready to do something if needed – used especially about soldiers, police, medical teams etcThe army are standing by.Emergency services were on standby after someone called to say there was a bomb in the city centre. await formal to wait for something – used about something that you know will happen or arriveI will await your reply (=in a formal letter).In February, nearly 200,000 prisoners were awaiting trial.The soldiers awaited the order to advance. wait around wait behind wait in wait on somebody/something wait something ↔ out wait up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
wait"Have you heard about the job?" "No, I'm still waiting."I'm so sorry I kept you waiting.You'll have to wait a few minutes - I'm not ready yet.The airline industry has adopted a wait-and-see attitude to the report's proposals.I've done as much as I can - now all I can do is wait and see what happens.After the first date he said he would phone her: she waited by the telephone until after midnight.She waited for him to reply.She believed in the ship, and was waiting for it.The morning star has withdrawn behind the curtain of light to wait for its chance to shine again tomorrow.People were jammed behind a metal fence, waiting for passengers coming in from abroad to emerge from Customs.I'll stay here and wait for Suzie.He waited for the applause to die down before he continued speaking.We spent almost an hour just waiting for the bus.Wait here until I get back.They were calling off their comrades who waited in ambush further ahead.Substantial supplies had to wait on the mining of reefs first found as late as 1880 outcropping on the Tawmaw plateau.Where have you been? I've been waiting since 7:00.I am waiting to try it out on some one.Are you waiting to use the phone?Here is a soldier who was waiting, with a heavy heart, to suffer and die in battle.wait to do somethingThey swim beneath the surface with sharp black fins, waiting to attack.The thought that had been waiting to be revealed, waiting to take him by surprise.Willie couldn't wait to begin drawing.We had to wait to get on.I can't wait to hear them.Holmes did not wait to pay the cabbie, but ran inside.It is as though they could not wait to sink into a dotage spent in permanent contemplation of their childhood.The lag in developing team incentives is a trap waiting to spring.Are you waiting to use the phone?wait for somebody/something to do somethingAnd the clouds had been waiting for her to call his name: Emmanuel, Emmanuel, Emmanuel.I watched this tape, waiting for my father to come home.Hard pitches, dry ball ... and referees prepared to wait for it to emerge.He stands silent, waiting for the gun to go.Du Camp waited for this one to run its course like a fever.Or perhaps he was waiting for them to start counting their blessings there and then.Both were waiting for stardom to tap them on the shoulder.
waitwait2 ●●○ noun [singular] WAITa period of time in which you wait for something to happen, someone to arrive etcwait for The average wait for an appointment at the clinic was eight weeks.long/three-hour/two-week etc wait There was an hour wait before the next train departed. They’ll have a long wait. lie in wait at lie1(8)
Examples from the Corpus
waitSo there is not that long a wait.Relatives now face an anxious wait while the emergency services search the wreckage for survivors.After a four-hour wait at the airport, we finally got on a flight to New York.There is often a one-hour wait to see a doctor.By the end of 1996 long waits had shot up again.I'm sorry you have had such a long wait.I do studies in my office on patient satisfaction, short waits, warmth and caring of my office personnel.In many ways it's worth the wait.A lot of patients face a two-year wait for treatment.have a ... waitWell, he would just have to wait.I would simply have to wait and see.But why did we have to wait 30 years to learn about them?Economists will have to wait a while for how the federal government read Massachusetts' employment situation last month.We will have to wait and keep an eye on that side of it.We will have to wait and see whether caper berries take over when fromagefrais and raspberry vinegar are exhausted.That would have to wait until the experiment was done.
Origin wait1 (1100-1200) Old North French waitier to watch