Pronunciation: (wāt),[key] —v.i. 1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens (often fol. by for, till, or until): to wait for the bus to arrive. 2. (of things) to be available or in readiness: A letter is waiting for you. 3. to remain neglected for a time: a matter that can wait. 4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed: We waited a week and then bought the house. Your vacation will have to wait until next month. 5. to look forward to eagerly: I'm just waiting for the day somebody knocks him down.
—v.t. 1. to continue as one is in expectation of; await: to wait one's turn at a telephone booth. 2. to postpone or delay in expectation: Don't wait supper for me. 3. Archaic.(of things) to be in readiness for; be reserved for; await: Glory waits thee. 4. Archaic.to attend upon or escort, esp. as a sign of respect.
5. wait on, a. to perform the duties of an attendant or servant for.
b. to supply the wants of a person, as serving a meal or serving a customer in a store.
c. to call upon or visit (a person, esp. a superior): to wait on Her Majesty at the palace. d. Falconry.(of a hawk) to soar over ground until prey appears.
e. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.to wait for (a person); await.
f. Also,wait upon.to await (an event).
6. wait table. See table (def. 21).
7. wait up, a. to postpone going to bed to await someone's arrival.
b. Informal.to halt and wait for another to join one, as in running or walking: Wait up, I can't walk so fast.
—n. 1. an act or instance of waiting or awaiting; delay; halt: a wait at the border. 2. a period or interval of waiting: There will be a long wait between trains. 3. Theat. a. the time between two acts, scenes, or the like.
b. See stage wait. 4. Brit. a. waits,(formerly) a band of musicians employed by a city or town to play music in parades, for official functions, etc.
b. a street musician, esp. a singer.
c. one of a band of carolers.
d. a piece sung by carolers, esp. a Christmas carol.
5. Obs.a watchman.
6. lie in wait, to wait in ambush: The army lay in wait in the forest.