30 Idioms About Waiting with Meaning and Examples

Idioms About Waiting

Idioms are special phrases where the words have a different meaning when put together. They make language interesting. This article talks about idioms that are about waiting. Waiting is something we all do. These phrases help us talk about waiting in a fun way. We will learn what these idioms mean, where they come from, and how we can use them. Understanding these idioms can make talking and writing more fun and colorful. So, let’s explore some common idioms about waiting and see how they make our conversations more exciting.

Idioms for Waiting

Here, I’ll focus on idioms related to waiting, explaining their meanings and providing examples in context.

Idiom: Hanging by a thread

    • Meaning: Waiting in a state of uncertainty
    • Example: My application is hanging by a thread.

Idiom: Keep someone waiting

    • Meaning: Make someone wait
    • Example: Sorry to keep you waiting, I was stuck in traffic.

Idiom: Keep one’s powder dry

    • Meaning: Be prepared and wait for the right moment
    • Example: We need to keep our powder dry until the negotiations start.

Idiom: On ice

    • Meaning: Put something on hold
    • Example: The project’s on ice until we get more funding.

Idiom: On tenterhooks

    • Meaning: In a state of uneasy suspense or anxiety
    • Example: I’ve been on tenterhooks waiting for the test results.

Idiom: The eleventh hour

    • Meaning: The last possible moment
    • Example: He always does his homework at the eleventh hour.

Idiom: In the pipeline

    • Meaning: Something is in progress or under development
    • Example: The new software update is in the pipeline and should be released soon.

Idiom: Waiting in the wings

    • Meaning: Ready to take action when the opportunity arises
    • Example: Our backup goalie is waiting in the wings if needed.

Idiom: Bide one’s time

    • Meaning: Wait for a good opportunity
    • Example: She’s just biding her time until a job opening appears.

Idiom: On the back burner

    • Meaning: Something being given low priority
    • Example: Let’s put this issue on the back burner until next week.

Idiom: The calm before the storm

    • Meaning: A quiet period before a period of great activity or trouble
    • Example: It’s the calm before the storm in the office before the fiscal year ends.

Idiom: Lie in wait

    • Meaning: Wait in hiding to surprise or ambush
    • Example: The police were lying in wait for the suspects to appear.

Idiom: Time hangs heavy

    • Meaning: Time passes slowly when you have nothing to do
    • Example: Time hangs heavy when I’m waiting for the weekend.

Idiom: Sitting tight

    • Meaning: Waiting patiently without taking action
    • Example: Just sit tight, and we’ll hear from them soon.

Idiom: When the time is ripe

    • Meaning: At the most suitable moment
    • Example: We’ll launch the product when the time is ripe.

Idiom: At a standstill

    • Meaning: Completely stopped or paused
    • Example: Traffic is at a standstill; we’ll be late.

Idiom: Twiddle one’s thumbs

    • Meaning: To wait without doing anything
    • Example: I was just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the call.

Idiom: Mark time

    • Meaning: Waiting without making progress
    • Example: He’s just marking time in his current job.

Idiom: Watch the clock

    • Meaning: To wait eagerly for something to end
    • Example: I was watching the clock during the last hour of work.

Idiom: Cooling one’s heels

    • Meaning: Waiting for a long time
    • Example: I spent an hour cooling my heels in the doctor’s office.

Idiom: Take a rain check

    • Meaning: Postpone a plan
    • Example: Can I take a rain check on our dinner? I’m not feeling well.

Idiom: Killing time

    • Meaning: Doing something to pass time while waiting
    • Example: I was just killing time by reading a magazine.

Idiom: On hold

    • Meaning: Waiting for something to happen or resume
    • Example: The plan is on hold until we get approval.

Idiom: Hold your horses

    • Meaning: Wait and be patient
    • Example: Hold your horses, I’ll be ready in five minutes!

Idiom: Time drags

    • Meaning: Time seems to pass slowly
    • Example: Time drags when you’re waiting for a friend.

Idiom: Hang fire

    • Meaning: Delay or wait before acting
    • Example: Let’s hang fire on making a decision until we have more information.

Idiom: Play the waiting game

    • Meaning: Wait to see how things develop before acting
    • Example: We’re playing the waiting game to see how the market reacts.

Idiom: A watched pot never boils

    • Meaning: Time feels slower when you’re waiting for something to happen
    • Example: I kept checking my email for the interview results, but as they say, a watched pot never boils.

Idiom: In the nick of time

    • Meaning: Just in time; at the last possible moment
    • Example: I arrived in the nick of time for my flight.

Idiom: Stand by

    • Meaning: Wait and be ready for action
    • Example: Stand by for further instructions.

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Idioms for Waiting

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