Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

Wait or Weight?

The Quick Answer
What is the difference between wait and weight?

As a noun, wait refers to the delay before an event.
As a verb, to wait means to endure a delay.

Weight can either be a noun or a verb. As a verb, it means to anchor something down with a heavy object.
As a noun, weight means heaviness.

Wait or Weight?

The words wait and weight sound identical, but their meanings are completely different.

Wait

The word wait can be used as both a noun and a verb.

As a verb, it 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. For example:
  • 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.)

Weight

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. For example:
  • 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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