for a while


for a while
(also, awhile)

Meaning | Synonyms

  • a short period of time
  • a little
  • for a moment
  • a moment or two
  • a short time
  • for a time
  • some time

People often use awhile as one word, leaving the “for” out completely.

Example Sentences

  1. I will be able to sit with you for a while, but I need to get home soon.
  2. You can stay with us for a while until you are back on your feet.
  3. He stayed with them awhile.
  4. Please sit awhile, we will be leaving for the movie very soon.
  5. We also stayed in Japan for a while during our trip to China.
  6. I have stopped taking caffeine for a while.
  7. Dad should take a break for a while because he is working for a long time.
  8. My boss had gone mad at me for a while.
  9. It looks like the weather is going to be stormy for a while.
  10. You stay here for a while I will be right back.


The origin of awhile can be traced to Middle Englishānehwīle, having originated before 1000 BCE.  It is an adverb denoting the amount of time that is spent somewhere. When it is used as the object of the preposition it is separated into two words a while. However, it is becoming more common to write it as one word, He is staying for awhile.

The verb while meaning “to cause time to pass” has been used since the 1630s. It is believed that it can be traced back to the Germanic word weilen meaning “to linger or to stay.”

It is also related to the word wile meaning “to cause time to pass, pleasantly.”

They wiled away the hours by reading and playing card games.

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