Hypertext Webster Gateway: "While"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

While \While\, prep.
Until; till. [Obs. or Prov. Eng. & Scot.]

I may be conveyed into your chamber; I'll lie under
your bed while midnight. --Beau. & Fl.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

While \While\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Whiled}; p. pr. & vb. n.
To cause to pass away pleasantly or without irksomeness or
disgust; to spend or pass; -- usually followed by away.

The lovely lady whiled the hours away. --Longfellow.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

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 perhaps to Gr. ? the proper time of season. [root]20. Cf.
{Quiet}, {Whilom}.]
1. Space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a
time; as, one while we thought him innocent. ``All this
while.'' --Shak.

This mighty queen may no while endure. --Chaucer.

[Some guest that] hath outside his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile. --Coleridge.

I will go forth and breathe the air a while.

2. That which requires time; labor; pains. [Obs.]

Satan . . . cast him how he might quite her while.

{At whiles}, at times; at intervals.

And so on us at whiles it falls, to claim Powers
that we dread. --J. H.

{The while}, {The whiles}, in or during the time that;
meantime; while. --Tennyson.

{Within a while}, in a short time; soon.

{Worth while}, worth the time which it requires; worth the
time and pains; hence, worth the expense; as, it is not
always worth while for a man to prosecute for small debts.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

While \While\, v. i.
To loiter. [R.] --Spectator.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

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.

Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a
gradual improvement, while you take care not to
overload it. --I. Watts.

2. Hence, under which circumstances; in which case; though;

{While as}, {While that}, during or at the time that. [Obs.]

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n : a period of indeterminate length (usually short) marked by
some action or condition; "he was here for a little
while"; "I need to rest for a piece"; "a spell of good
weather" [syn: {piece}, {spell}]

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