while


while
I [[t](h)waɪl[/t]] CONJUNCTION USES
(Usually pronounced [[t](h)wa͟ɪl[/t]] for meaning 4. The form whilst is also used in formal or literary English, especially British English.)
1) CONJ-SUBORD If something happens while something else is happening, the two things are happening at the same time.

They were grinning and watching while one man laughed and poured beer over the head of another...

I sat on the settee to unwrap the package while he stood by...

Racing was halted for an hour while the track was repaired...

Her parents could help with child care while she works.

2) CONJ-SUBORD If something happens while something else happens, the first thing happens at some point during the time that the second thing is happening.

The two ministers have yet to meet, but may do so while in New York...

Never apply water to a burn from an electric shock while the casualty is still in contact with the electric current.

3) CONJ-SUBORD You use while at the beginning of a clause to introduce information which contrasts with information in the main clause.

Marianne was tempted to turn the large rooms into traditional French-style salons, while Howard was in favour of a typically English look...

The first two services are free, while the third costs ₤35.00.

Syn:
4) CONJ-SUBORD You use while, before making a statement, in order to introduce information that partly conflicts with your statement.

While the numbers of such developments are relatively small, the potential market is large...

While the modelling business is by no means easy to get into, the good model, male or female, will always be in demand...

While the news, so far, has been good, there may be days ahead when it is bad.

Syn:
II [[t](h)wa͟ɪl[/t]] NOUN AND VERB USES
♦♦
whiles, whiling, whiled
(Please look at category 3 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)
1) N-SING: a N, usu adj N A while is a period of time.

They walked on in silence for a while...

He was married a little while ago...

Working at low intensity means that you can continue to perform the activity for a long while.

Syn:
2) PHRASE: PHR with cl You use all the while in order to say that something happens continually or that it happens throughout the time when something else is happening.

All the while the people at the next table watched me eat.

3) once in a whilesee once
to make it worth your whilesee worth
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • while — while, whilst 1. Both forms are used in BrE, but whilst is not much used in AmE. There is no distinction in usage as regards meaning, although varying grammatical patterns are noted below. 2. The word is a conjunction, and its primary sense is… …   Modern English usage

  • While — While, n. [AS. hw[=i]l; akin to OS. hw[=i]l, hw[=i]la, OFries. hw[=i]le, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG. w[=i]la, hw[=i]la, hw[=i]l, Icel. hv[=i]la a bed, hv[=i]ld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time, and probably to L. quietus quiet, and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While — and whilst are conjunctions whose primary meaning is during the time that . An example is::The days were hot while we were on vacation.:I read a magazine whilst I was waiting. While and whilst can nowadays legitimately be used in the contrastive… …   Wikipedia

  • while — [hwīl, wīl] n. [ME < OE hwil, akin to Ger weile < IE base * kweye , to rest > L quies, quiet] a period or space of time [a short while] conj. 1. during or throughout the time that [we waited while she dined] 2. at the same time that… …   English World dictionary

  • while — ► NOUN 1) (a while) a period of time. 2) (a while) for some time. 3) (the while) at the same time; meanwhile. 4) (the while) literary during the time that. ► …   English terms dictionary

  • While — While, conj. 1. During the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep. While I have time and space. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement, while you… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While as — While While, conj. 1. During the time that; as long as; whilst; at the same time that; as, while I write, you sleep. While I have time and space. Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement, while… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • While — While, prep. Until; till. [Obs. or Prov. Eng. & Scot.] [1913 Webster] I may be conveyed into your chamber; I ll lie under your bed while midnight. Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • while — while, wile, beguile, fleet mean to pass time, especially leisure time, without being bored. One whiles or wiles away a space of time by causing it to be filled by something pleasant, diverting, or amusing {they can while away an hour very… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • while — [conj1] as long as although, at the same time, during, during the time, in the time, throughout the time, whilst; concept 799 while [conj2] even though albeit, although, howbeit, much as, though, when, whereas; concept 544 while [n] time interval …   New thesaurus

  • while I'm at it — ˌwhile you re/I m etc. ˈat it idiom used to suggest that sb could do sth while they are doing sth else • ‘I m just going to buy some postcards.’ ‘Can you get me some stamps while you re at it?’ Main entry: ↑whileidiom …   Useful english dictionary