Definition of wait up in English:

wait up

phrasal verb

  • 1Not go to bed until someone arrives or something happens.

    • ‘Instead of watching Rage, the Simpsons and Neighbours, I find myself waiting up for the end of Law and Order then crashing as soon as it finishes.’
    • ‘His father always waited up until his son returned from meetings late in the evening.’
    • ‘And he always waits up for me, just to know that I got home safely.’
    • ‘Manager Don Givens waited up until 4am for the player to return to HQ, at which point he gave up and went to bed.’
    • ‘If you're waiting up all night for a husband who comes home after the kids are in bed, you might feel you're missing out.’
    • ‘Thank the Lord, you no longer feel compelled to wait up until midnight on New Year's Eve.’
    • ‘Some people fervently expected the end of the world a year ago and waited up late for a ‘rapture’ that never arrived.’
    • ‘Thousands of Swindon youngsters will be eagerly waiting up for Santa to drop down the chimney tonight.’
    • ‘He was surprised to find his father waiting up for him when he arrived home close to midnight.’
    • ‘Even though it was after midnight, her parents were still waiting up to hear the results.’
    stay awake, stay up, keep vigil
    View synonyms
  • 2North American Go more slowly or stop until someone catches up.

    • ‘I sassed when he caught up with me as I didn't wait up for him like he asked me too.’
    • ‘We rode towards Baker Lake, but before reaching the lake stopped to wait up for Michael and Cathy.’
    • ‘‘Hey Lizzy, wait up,’ Josh shouted as he grabbed his luggage and started to run to catch up with her.’
    • ‘Katrina stared open-mouthed and then after a moment of hesitation, she followed Ashley, shouting for her to wait up.’
    • ‘He dropped the keys into his pocket, thinking of what was just ahead of them, starting on the sidewalk without any intention of waiting up for Brooke to get out of the car.’