keep (one) waiting

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keep (one) waiting

To force someone to wait to get something or for something to happen. We were asked to be at the court at 9 AM for the hearing, but they kept us waiting for over three hours. Sorry I kept you waiting—my car ran out of gas halfway here.
See also: keep, waiting

keep somebody ˈwaiting

make somebody wait or be delayed, especially because you arrive late: I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.
See also: keep, somebody, waiting
References in periodicals archive ?
But we don't care, we keep them waiting for a bit longer as we battle to juggle coffee cup, phone, wallet and car keys before getting in the car, carefully placing the cup in the holder and then driving off.
Stubbs said:'People are waiting for things to blow up but it's an incentive for us to keep them waiting.
This is especially helpful for medical appointments, since we never know for sure when someone will be ready for pick-up after an appointment, and we don't like to keep them waiting any longer than necessary.
We will let Elgin know as quickly as we can in the morning how things are going for we cannot keep them waiting too long.
He could nonetheless keep them waiting for years, which inevitably excited the marketplace all the more.
You have to keep them waiting a while and be a big, big tease.