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English definition of “while”

while

conjunction uk   /waɪl/ us  

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?"

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.

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.

while

noun uk   /waɪl/ us  
a while 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).
See also
(Definition of while from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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