Wait or Weight?

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Wait or Weight?

What is the difference between "wait" and "weight"?
  • "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"

The words "wait" and "weight" sound identical (i.e., they are homonyms, specifically, homophones), but their meanings are completely different.


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:
  • 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. 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.)
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

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? What are nouns? List of easily confused words