Definition While

English vocabulary and translations (See all our English vocabulary translation)

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While (I was sleeping...): When, during the time that, as (I was sleeping...)
In British English, whilst is often used in place of "while".

He shouted at his wife while I was still in the room, I didn't know what to say.
Can you wait for me while I get ready?

While (on the building site, be very careful): When, if you are (on the building site, be very careful)

(to wait for) a while: (to wait for) a period of time, a moment
It's been a while since I last heard from you, how have you been?

Pronunciation examples
UK: Whilst you're up, would you mind making me a cup of tea?
US: I cut my chin while shaving this morning.


  • "Did you know that this little girl once took a taxi to school for a week while the chauffeur was out sick?"
  • "Ride a whale while wearing a cowboy hat."
  • "Glen : The rest of you, while I'm helping Edward, please practice your breathing."
  • "Greenzo: Saving the earth while maintaining profitability."
  • "My father once said, a dying British man will shoot you while you're trying to rob an airport."
  • "The experience was utterly humiliating for both of us, and for a long while, it seemed that we would die in that horrible, detestable yet meticulously organized hellhole."
  • "while drinking heavily."
  • "While the print media has indeed been critical of your company recently, we propose focusing on Delavigne's Internet presence to shift the narrative from tabloid gossip to the high quality profiles and experience of your staff."
  • "While other airlines set ticket prices for their flights, Mile High Airways has devised a new pricing strategy called "Fare's fair"."
  • "Plus you keep yelling "man overboard" while using the toilet."

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