"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uh-hwahyl, uh-wahyl] /əˈʰwaɪl, əˈwaɪl/
for a short time or period:
Stay awhile.
Origin of awhile
before 1000; Middle English; Old English āne hwīle (dative); see a1, while
Usage note
The adverb awhile is spelled as a single word: After stopping in Hadley awhile, we drove to Deerfield. As the object of a preposition, the noun phrase a while is used, especially in edited writing, but the single-word form is becoming increasingly common: We rested for a while (or awhile). Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for awhile
  • He let the water run awhile before carefully filling four sterilized bottles.
  • awhile back, some of us were comparing our commuting distances on one of these fora.
  • Yes it will take awhile for the uprising to send someone to talk with officials.
  • Everyone should get a chance to live there for awhile.
  • We're going to leave the bees alone for awhile to give her a chance to do that.
  • You'll find your way around eventually, but it'll take awhile.
  • Heat often changes the color, and after awhile the acquired hue becomes permanent.
  • Cheaper than driving had a whole new meaning for awhile.
  • She worked as a waitress in a lobster restaurant to support her research habit for quite awhile.
  • For awhile she thought she might both practice medicine and do research.
British Dictionary definitions for awhile


for a brief period
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for awhile

Old English ane hwile "(for) a while" (see while (n.)); usually written as one word since 13c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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