|—vb (when intr, |
|1.||to stay in one place or remain inactive in expectation (of something); hold oneself in readiness (for something)|
|2.||to delay temporarily or be temporarily delayed: that work can wait|
|3.||(of things) to be in store (for a person): success waits for you in your new job|
|4.||(intr) to act as a waiter or waitress|
|5.||the act or an instance of waiting|
|6.||a period of waiting|
|7.||rare (plural) a band of musicians who go around the streets, esp at Christmas, singing and playing carols|
|8.||an interlude or interval between two acts or scenes in a play, etc|
|9.||lie in wait to prepare an ambush (for someone)|
|[C12: from Old French waitier; related to Old High German wahtēn to |
an English town watchman or public musician who sounded the hours of the night. In the later Middle Ages the waits were night watchmen, who sounded horns or even played tunes to mark the hours. In the 15th and 16th centuries waits developed into bands of itinerant musicians who paraded the streets at night at Christmas time. From the early 16th century, London and all the chief boroughs had their corporation waits.
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