while definition, meaning - what is while in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “while”

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while

conjunction uk   us   /waɪl/

while conjunction (DURING)

A2 (also formal whilst ) during the time that, or at the same time as: I read it while you were drying your hair. While I was in Italy I went to see Alessandro. I thought I heard him come in while we were having dinner. "I'm going to the post office." "While you're there can you get me some stamps?"
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while conjunction (ALTHOUGH)

B2 (also formal whilst) despite the fact that; although: While I accept that he's not perfect in many respects, I do actually quite like the man. While I fully understand your point of view, I do also have some sympathy with Michael's.
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while conjunction (BUT)

B1 compared with the fact that; but: He gets £50,000 a year while I get a meagre £20,000! Tom is very extrovert and confident while Katy's shy and quiet. I do every single bit of housework while he just does the dishes now and again.
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while

noun uk   us   /waɪl/
a while
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B1 a length of time: I only stayed for a short while. You were there quite a while (= a long time), weren't you? "When did that happen?" "Oh, it was a while ago (= a long time ago). I haven't seen him for a while (= for a long time). I'll be fine in a while (= soon).
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(Definition of while from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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