1wait on someoneServe food or drink to someone in a restaurant, cafe, bar, etc.
- ‘she was the waitress who usually waited on him at the cafe’
- 1.1US Serve a customer in a shop.
- ‘customers stood in line expecting to be waited on’
2wait on someone or wait upon someoneAct as an attendant to someone.‘a maid was appointed to wait on her’
- ‘Where once convicts were forced to hop around the exercise yard in the blazing sun, they now sunbathe in deckchairs, waited on by the guards.’
- ‘I had to help with the preparations, taking time out from the demanding task of waiting on His Grace to assist with everything from cooking to candle making.’
- ‘Palmerin is taken to Constantinople and appointed to wait on his cousin Polinarda, with whom he falls in love; while Floriano is taken to London and appointed to wait on Flerida.’
- ‘The coachman obediently waited on me and put out a hand to assist me.’
- 2.1 archaic Pay someone a respectful visit.‘a deputation had waited upon Lords Salisbury, Redesdale, and Roxburghe’
- ‘The latter is very unpopular, & a deputation of ministers waited upon C, asking that he should be removed as he was not playing the game.’
- ‘It states that any deputation waiting on a Minister or member after a demonstration is limited to six.’
3wait on someone or somethingmainly US Stay where one is or delay action until someone arrives or is ready, or until a particular time or event.‘they will wait on a Supreme Court ruling’
- ‘she was waiting on her boyfriend’
4Australian, New Zealand, Northern English informal Refrain from doing something until something else happens.
- ‘wait on, I've an important message for you’
- ‘She had decided to wait on telling Fredi until the perfect moment, so she had to pretend as if nothing were wrong.’
- ‘We'll wait on the beets until the next crop comes in with fresh tops.’
- ‘Also, sex is something that one should wait on until you are ready.’
- ‘But I'll wait on a Voyager movie until they show it on a Friday night on UPN.’
- ‘Well, let's wait on dinner a bit until we all calm down.’