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Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English waitinge, waytynge, waitende, weytende, waitand, waytand, equivalent to wait +‎ -ing.

Verb edit


  1. present participle and gerund of wait
    Your guest has been waiting for you. (progressive)They hurried into the waiting car. (participle used as adjective)
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XIX, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      At the far end of the houses the head gardener stood waiting for his mistress, and he gave her strips of bass to tie up her nosegay. This she did slowly and laboriously, with knuckly old fingers that shook.

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English waitynge, waytynge, equivalent to wait +‎ -ing.

Noun edit

waiting (countable and uncountable, plural waitings)

  1. (obsolete) Watching, observation; keeping watch, guarding.
  2. The act of staying or remaining in expectation.
    Waiting for something to happen is part of the job. (gerund)
    • 1874, John Fiske, Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, I. 122:
      In all ages, men have fought over words, without waiting to know what the words really signified.
    • 1876, Richard Watson Gilder, The New Day, A Poem in Songs and Sonnets:
      There was an awful waiting in the earth, / As if a mystery greatened to its birth.
  3. Attendance, service.
Derived terms edit
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