- awhile, a whileBoth expressions have the same origin in the word while, but it should be noted that awhile is strictly adverbial whereas a while is a noun phrase (very often preceded by for):
• When he reached the street-sign he stopped awhile and stood beneath it —Colin Dexter, 1983
• I'm going away for a while —B. Neil, 1993.Confusion is aggravated by the fact that a while, although a noun phrase, can also have a semi-adverbial function: We had to wait a long while [= for a long while].
Modern English usage. 2014.
Look at other dictionaries:
Awhile — A*while , adv. [Adj. a + while time, interval.] For a while; for some time; for a short time. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
awhile — O.E. ane hwile (for) a while, usually written as one word since 13c … Etymology dictionary
awhile — [adv] for a short period briefly, for a bit, for a little while, for a moment, for a spell, for a while, for the moment, momentarily, not for long, temporarily, transiently; concept 798 … New thesaurus
awhile — ► ADVERB ▪ for a short time … English terms dictionary
awhile — [ə wīl′, əhwīl′] adv. [ME < OE ane hwile, a while] for a while; for a short time … English World dictionary
awhile — /euh hwuyl , euh wuyl /, adv. for a short time or period: Stay awhile. [bef. 1000; ME; OE ane hwile (dat.); see A1, WHILE] Usage. The adverb AWHILE is spelled as a single word: After stopping in Hadley awhile, we drove to Deerfield. As the object … Universalium
awhile — [[t]ə(h)wa͟ɪl[/t]] ADV: usu ADV after v Awhile means for a short time. It is more commonly spelled a while , which is considered more correct, especially in British English. He worked awhile as a pharmacist in Cincinnati. N UNCOUNT Awhile is also … English dictionary
awhile — a•while [[t]əˈ(h)waɪl, əˈwaɪl[/t]] adv. use for a short time or period: Stay awhile[/ex] • Etymology: bef. 1000; ME; OE āne hwīle (dat.); see a I, while usage: The adverb awhile is always spelled as one word: We rested awhile. The noun phrase a… … From formal English to slang
awhile — adverb Date: before 12th century for a while Usage: Although considered a solecism by many commentators, awhile, like several other adverbs of time and place, is often used as the object of a preposition < for awhile there is a silence Lord… … New Collegiate Dictionary
awhile — adverb For some time; for a short time. Sit with me awhile. See Also: while … Wiktionary