Word Explorer
Children's Dictionary


parts of speech:
verb, noun
lie in wait, wait on, wait upon
Note, Homophone Note, Word Builder
part of speech: verb
inflections: waits, waiting, waited
definition 1: to stay in one place until an expected event happens (often followed by "for" or "until").
We're waiting for the mail to arrive.
similar words:
expect, hold one's horses, sit tight
definition 2: to slow down or stop until another person catches up.
They waited for the little dog who couldn't run very fast.
similar words:
dawdle, delay, hesitate, loiter
definition 3: to remain ready for something.
He waited for a chance to take her out on a date.
similar words:
sit tight, watch
definition 4: to be delayed.
The new house will have to wait until we have more money.
similar words:
delay, hesitate, procrastinate, recess, suspend
phrase: wait on
part of speech: noun
definition: the act, instance, or period of waiting.
There was a long wait before the movie started.
delay, holdup
similar words:
halt, intermission, interval, pause, stay, stop
phrase: lie in wait, wait upon
wait for or wait on?
Wait on means to serve a customer, as in a restaurant or store. Wait for is more common and means to stay in a place or situation until some expected event happens.
  • A nice person waited on us at the restaurant today.
  • I waited for my son outside his school.
Homophone Note
The words wait and weight (heaviness) sound alike but have different meanings.
Word Builder: wait +
  • waitress:
    a woman whose job is to wait on customers at a restaurant.
  • waiter:
    a person whose job is to wait on customers at a restaurant.