Alternative formsEdit


From whiles +‎ -t. Surface analysis while +‎ -st (excrescence). Cognate with West Frisian wylst (whilst). More at whiles.




  1. (Britain, rare or literary in North America) While, at the same time.
    Synonyms: while; see also Thesaurus:while
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 17, in The China Governess[1]:
      The face which emerged was not reassuring. It was blunt and grey, the nose springing thick and flat from high on the frontal bone of the forehead, whilst his eyes were narrow slits of dark in a tight bandage of tissue. […].
    Drivers must switch off engines whilst on stand.(instruction on a bus stand sign)

Usage notesEdit

  • Mostly restrained to use in British English.
  • Rare in North America and may be considered archaic, pedantic, or pompous.


Further readingEdit