Definition of while noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

while

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//waɪl//
 
; NAmE NAmE//waɪl//
 
 
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  •  [singular] a period of time They chatted for a while. I'll be back in a little while (= a short time). I haven't seen him for quite a while (= a fairly long time). They walked back together, talking all the while (= all the time).
  • Word Origin Old English hwīl ‘period of time’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wijl, German Weile; the conjunction is an abbreviation of Old English thā hwīle the ‘the while that’.Extra examples Everybody makes a mistake once in a while. He kept me waiting for quite a while. I’ll be back in a while. I’ll mend it for you, but it could take a while. The bird hopped across the lawn, keeping a sharp lookout all the while. The problems started a while back. There’s no need to do anything for the while. They chatted for a while. Things continued quiet for some while. I haven’t seen him for quite a while. They walked back together, talking all the while.Idioms
    (every) once in a while
     
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    occasionally
    worth somebody’s while
     
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    interesting or useful for somebody to do It will be worth your while to come to the meeting. He'll do the job if you make it worth his while (= pay him well).
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: while