Wait or Weight?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Wait" and "Weight"?

"Wait" and "weight" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms). However, their meanings are very different.
  • "A wait" is a delay before an event. For example:
    • We had a long wait before the train arrived.
  • "To wait" means to endure a delay. For example:
    • Wait for the green man before you cross.
  • "A weight" is a heavy object for holding things down. For example:
    • It is getting windy. Pass me a weight for the tent.
  • "Weight" means heaviness. For example:
    • What is the weight of that pie?
  • "To weight" means to anchor something down with a heavy object. For example:
    • Weight the tent down before it gets too windy.
    • (Often, "to weight" appears as the phrasal verb "to weight down.")
wait or weight?

More about "Wait" and "Weight"

"Wait" and "weight" are homophone homonyms because they sound the same. They are not homograph homophones because they have different spellings. "Wait" and "weight" are both common words, and your readers will expect you to use the right one.


"Wait" can be used as both a noun and a verb.

As a verb, "wait" means to stay where one is or to delay an action until a particular time. When used as a noun, it refers to a period of delay or postponement.

Example sentences with "wait":
  • Wait for me!
  • (Here, "wait" is a verb.)
  • Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.
  • (Here, "wait" is a verb.)
  • We have had a long wait for democracy.
  • (Here, "wait" is a noun.)


The noun "weight" refers to something's relative mass or the quantity of matter contained by it (i.e., its heaviness). The verb "to weight" is quite rare. It means to hold something down by placing something heavy on top of it.

Example sentences with "weight":
  • I'm gaining weight the right way: I'm drinking beer.
  • (Here, "weight" is a noun.)
  • Why are empirical questions about how the mind works so weighted down with political, moral, and emotional baggage?
  • (Here, "weight" is a verb.)

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words

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