‘Wait’ or ‘Weight’: What’s the Difference?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on March 7, 2023

Have you seen both ‘wait’ and ‘weight’ in your everyday life and wondered what the difference is between them? We’ll clear that up in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use both in a sentence correctly. You’ll also learn the correct way to pronounce both words.

In short, the difference is:

  • ‘Wait’ is a verb, and it means to stay in place until a certain time or until something happens. It could also be used as a noun and refers to the time someone spends waiting.
  • ‘Weight’ is a verb, and it means to make heavier or heaviness.

These words are easy to confuse because they sound the same when spoken aloud. However, they mean two different things and are, therefore, considered homophones. So, avoid using them interchangeably.

Commonly Confused Words – ‘Wait’ and ‘Weight’

The words ‘wait’ and ‘weight’ are often mixed up in the English language, which is probably because they sound exactly the same when you speak them out loud.

But they have different definitions.

‘Wait’ is a verb and means to stay in place (the way children wait for their school buses every day), but it could also refer to the time someone spends waiting.

For example:

  • The wait time at the doctor’s office is usually about five to ten minutes.

‘Weight’ is a verb, and it means to make something heavier or load it down. It could also refer to how much a person weighs.

For example:

  • You might step on a scale and say, “I lost weight” or “I lost ten pounds.”

‘Wait’ or ‘Weight’?

So, should you use ‘wait’ or ‘weight’?

Well, that depends on the context.

  • If you’re talking about how long you spent at a particular place, use ‘wait.’
  • However, if you’re referring to the heaviness of something, use ‘weight.’

These words can be tricky because they’re homophones, but with practice, you’ll be able to tell the difference.

Definition of ‘Wait’: What Does ‘Wait’ Mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘wait’ is to stay in place in expectation of (await).

It also means:

  • To delay serving (a meal)
  • To serve food and drinks to the people sitting at (to act as a server for)
  • To remain stationary in readiness or expectation
  • To pause for someone else to catch up to you
  • To look forward expectantly
  • To hold back expectantly
  • To serve at meals (like dinner)
  • To be ready and available
  • To remain temporarily neglected or unrealized
  • Pause or stop

Definition of ‘Weight’: What Does ‘Weight’ Mean?

Merriam-Webster defines ‘weight’ as the amount that a thing weighs.

Other definitions include:

  • The standard or established amount that a thing should weigh
  • The quantity or thing weighing a fixed and usually specified amount
  • A heavy object (such as a metal ball) thrown, put, or lifted as an athletic exercise or contest
  • A unit of weight or mass
  • A piece of material (such as metal) of known specified weight for use in weighing articles
  • A system of related units of weight
  • Something heavy
  • Burden, pressure
  • Mass
  • Overpowering force
  • The relative importance of authority given to something
  • Measurable influence, especially on other people
  • The quality (such as lightness) that makes fabric or garment suitable for a particular use or season
  • The degree of thickness of the strokes of a type of character

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Wait’ and ‘Weight’

Are you unsure of how to pronounce these words? Here’s a quick guide.

To pronounce both words correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘Wait’ and ‘Weight’ in a Sentence

Now that we’ve learned the definitions of both words and we know how to pronounce them let’s see some example sentences.


  • Let’s wait and see if my dad will let us go to the mall after school today. I hope he does because I saw a really cute pair of earrings I wanted.
  • I have to wait to wear this dress. It’s my motivation to lose weight, so it doesn’t fit right now.
  • I have to wait a week to see if I have passed my exam. I’m so nervous that I failed.
  • We had to wait a while to get our money refunded to our debit card. I was so angry when they put a hold on it for a whole week.
  • You and I had to wait a week before we could fly back home, thanks to the political conflict overtaking the region.


  • It’s not fair how easy it is for some women to lose weight! I have the worst metabolism.
  • I had to learn the hard way that the women in my family gain weight easily. It’s way too easy to put on the pounds.
  • We have to gain at least five pounds before the game on Sunday. Coach says bulking up can only help our game.
  • I chose to lose 15 pounds so I could fit into this cute bikini. It only comes in smaller sizes.
  • I’ve put on enough weight this year. I think I’m going to go on a diet and glow up.

Final Thoughts on ‘Wait’ and ‘Weight’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • ‘Wait’ is a verb, and it refers to the act of staying in place until a certain time or until something happens. It might also be used as a noun and refers to the time you spend waiting.
  • ‘Weight’ is a verb, and it refers to the act of making something heavier or the heaviness itself.

It's easy to confuse these words because they sound the same when spoken aloud. However, they're spelled differently and mean different things.  They're considered homophones. Therefore,  you should avoid using them interchangeably.

If you ever forget the meaning or how to use either of these words, you can always come back here to review what you learned. We’ve got even more content on confusing words and phrases that people often have trouble with while learning the language. Go check it out whenever you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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