• 2-minute read
  • 9th November 2020

Word Choice: Wait vs. Weight

The words “wait” and “weight” sound the same, which can make them confusing! But these terms also differ entirely in meaning, so make sure you can use them correctly in your writing by checking out our guide below.

Wait (Let Time Pass)

As a verb, “wait” refers to letting time pass until something happens:

We are waiting for the train to arrive.

I can’t wait for the weekend to come!

She waited for him outside while he got dressed.

And as a noun, it refers to a period of time spent waiting:

We have a long wait ahead of us.

After a two-hour wait, I finally spoke to the manager.

More rarely, it can also refer to serving food or drink to someone:

I’ve been waiting tables at this restaurant for three years.

Someone who “waits” in this sense is often known as a waiter or waitress.

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Weight (Heaviness)

In most cases, “weight” is a noun meaning either:

  1. How heavy something is (e.g., He lost weight after starting the diet)
  2. A heavy object (e.g., She lifts weights at the gym)

Less literally, “weight” can refer to something’s importance or influence:

I give a lot of weight to what she says on this subject.

He is throwing his weight behind the wrong candidate.

And more rarely, “weight” can be a verb meaning “weigh down”:

The balloon is weighted with sandbags.

This is different to the verb “weigh,” though, which means “measure the weight of” or “be a certain weight.” Keep an eye out for that final “t”!

Summary: Wait or Weight?

While these words sound similar, they’re very different in practice:

  • Wait can be a verb or a noun. In both cases, it typically refers to letting time pass in expectation of something or until you can do something. More rarely, it can be a verb meaning “serve food or drink to a table.”
  • Weight is usually a noun that refers to heaviness or a heavy object.

To tell these words apart, remember that “weight” is spelled like “height,” and both “weight” and “height” are things you can measure!

If you’d like expert assistance with your spelling, though, we’re here to help! You can even upload a trial document and try our service for free.

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