While vs. Whiles

By Jaxson

  • While

    “While” is a word in the English language that functions both as a noun and as a subordinating conjunction. Its meaning varies largely based on its intended function, position in the phrase and even the writer or speaker’s regional dialect. As a conjunction, it is synonymous with the word “whilst”, a form often considered archaic in American English, as well as in some style guides on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • While (noun)

    An uncertain duration of time, a period of time.

    “He lectured for quite a long while.”

  • While (conjunction)

    During the same time that.

    “He was sleeping while I was singing.”

  • While (conjunction)


    “This case, while interesting, is a bit frustrating.”

  • While (conjunction)


    “I’ll wait while you’ve finished painting.”

  • While (conjunction)

    As long as.

    “While you’re at school you may live at home.”

  • While (preposition)


  • While (verb)

    To pass (time) idly.

  • While (verb)

    To loiter.

  • Whiles (adverb)

    sometimes; at times

  • Whiles (conjunction)



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