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Chiefly used in British English. Whilst is synonymous with while in standard English, although to many it sounds slightly old-fashioned, and is rare or archaic.[1] In their style guides, modern publications on both sides of the Atlantic deprecate its use (along with "amidst" and "amongst"), for example:

  • Times Online Style Guide: [h t t p : //,,2941-583,00.html]: "while (not whilst)"
  • Guardian Style Guide: [h ttp ://,5817,184822,00.html]: "while not whilst"
  • Hansard: [htt p://] PDF, the Canadian Parliament record.
Wouldn't dated be a more accurate descriptionm per our current usage? Even that I'm not convinced. There's some resonable discussion on the wikipedia talk page Nil Einne 15:23, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not native, but I know it from reltively recent computer games. (GTA Vice City) - So it shouldn't be dated if it's used in a recent, hard slang-using game - I think. Ferike333 15:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


The offered pronunciation is, if not incorrect, certainly a minor variant. Whilst is pronounced like "while" with an -st tacked onto the end. This should be corrected. The pronunciation now given would better fit the rarely used "wilst," as in "Wilst thou stop pronouncing whilst incorrectly?" 21:08, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

That is for the verb wilst, not for the conjunction. I've made the correction. --EncycloPetey 21:13, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

And what about /ʍ/ in the beginning? Ferike333 15:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

It might be present in the UK pronunciation, but that sound is rare in the US. Since I live in the US, I can't say for certain, as this is a rare word. --EncycloPetey 15:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
/ʍ/ is, if anything, more widespread in the U.S. than it is in England and Wales (but much less so than it is in Scotland and Ireland). I'm removing the pronunciation with /ɪ/ since I've never heard it and I can't find any dictionary that suggests it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:46, 28 February 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ "while" gets 1300 million Google hits compared to the 85 million that "whilst" gets.(Dec. 2006)
Return to "whilst" page.