while Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of “while” - English Dictionary

Definition of "while" - American English Dictionary

See all translations

whilenoun [U]

 us   /hwɑɪl, wɑɪl/

while noun [U] (LENGTH OF TIME)

a ​length of ​time: He only had to ​wait a ​short while. It was a while before any ​waiter took ​theirorder. That ​happened a while ago (= did not ​happenrecently). I haven’t ​seen him for a while (= a ​longtime). She’s getting ​dressed, and she’ll be ​ready in just a little while (= ​soon).

whileconjunction

 us   /hwɑɪl, wɑɪl/

while conjunction (DURING)

during the ​time that, or at the same ​time as: I ​read it while you were ​dryingyourhair. "I’m going to the ​postoffice." "While you’re there can you get me some ​stamps?"

while conjunction (ALTHOUGH)

despite the ​fact that; ​although: While I ​know he’s not ​perfect, I do like him.

while conjunction (BUT)

compared with the ​fact that; but: Tom is very ​outgoing, while Ken’s ​shy and ​quiet.
(Definition of while from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Definition of "while" - British English Dictionary

See all translations

whileconjunction

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 ​dryingyourhair. 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 ​postoffice." "While you're there can you get me some ​stamps?"
More examples

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 like the man. While I ​fullyunderstandyourpoint of ​view, I also have some ​sympathy with Michael's.
More examples

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 all the ​housework while he just does the ​dishes now and again.
More examples

whilenoun

uk   us   /waɪl/
a while
More examples
B1 a ​length of ​time: I only ​stayed for a ​short while. You were there quite a while (= a ​longtime), weren't you? "When did that ​happen?" "Oh, it was a while ago (= a ​longtime ago). I haven't ​seen him for a while (= for a ​longtime). I'll be ​fine in a while (= ​soon).
See also
(Definition of while from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of while?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

forage

to go from place to place searching, especially for food

Word of the Day

Meerkat meme
Meerkat meme
by Colin McIntosh,
September 03, 2015
Meerkats are not new to popular culture (they appear in the folk tales of the San people of the Kalahari), but their arrival in the public’s consciousness, at least in the UK and the US, is a relatively recent phenomenon. Meerkats are small, sociable Southern African mammals that live in large family

Read More 

parklet noun
parklet noun
August 31, 2015
a public outdoor space that may be associated with a local business but where anyone can sit Pop-up cafes in NY are what’s actually called parklets in many other places around the country.

Read More