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in the meantime

In the time before something else finishes or is supposed to happen. We need to wait for the movie to download. Let's get the popcorn ready in the meantime. We're working around the clock to fix the problem for you, but in the meantime, please accept this voucher for a free meal as an apology.
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in the meantime

the period of time between two things; the period of time between now and when something is supposed to happen. The movie starts at 6:00. In the meantime, let's eat dinner. My flight was at 8:00. In the meantime, I played solitaire.
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in the ˈmeantime/ˈmeanwhile

in the time between two things happening: In five minutes, there’s the news. In the meantime, here’s some music.The bus doesn’t leave until six o’clock. In the meantime we can go and have a coffee.I hope to go to medical school eventually. In the meanwhile, I’m going to study chemistry.
See also: meantime, meanwhile
References in classic literature ?
But, if we keep in mind the glorious heaven beyond, where both may meet again, and sin and sorrow are unknown, surely that too may be borne; and, meantime, we endeavour to live to the glory of Him who has scattered so many blessings in our path.
In the meantime there was nothing to do but play the cards he could see in his hand, and they were BATTLE, REVENGE, AND COCKTAILS.
In the meantime he drifted, resting and recuperating after the long traverse he had made through the realm of knowledge.
In the meantime he was not in need of money, for several of his later stories had been accepted and paid for.
But in the meantime God did not come, and they starved to death in great numbers.
And meantime what had the governess (out of a nobleman's family) so judiciously selected (a lady, and connected with well-known county people as she said) to direct the studies, guard the health, form the mind, polish the manners, and generally play the perfect mother to that luckless child--what had she been doing?
Meantime returning to that evening altercation in deadened tones within the private apartment of Miss de Barral's governess, what if I were to tell you that disappointment had most likely made them touchy with each other, but that perhaps the secret of his careless, railing behaviour, was in the thought, springing up within him with an emphatic oath of relief "Now there's nothing to prevent me from breaking away from that old woman.
Meantime I shall have him--and I shall hold him by throwing to him the money of that ordinary, silly, little girl of no account.
In the meantime that rascal, Pinocchio, free now from the clutches of the Carabineer, was running wildly across fields and meadows, taking one short cut after another toward home.
He had vowed TO BE WITH ME ON MY WEDDING-NIGHT, yet he did not consider that threat as binding him to peace in the meantime, for as if to show me that he was not yet satiated with blood, he had murdered Clerval immediately after the enunciation of his threats.
In the meantime I took every precaution to defend my person in case the fiend should openly attack me.
My father was in the meantime overjoyed and in the bustle of preparation only recognized in the melancholy of his niece the diffidence of a bride.
In the meantime, here is another false start, and more waste of good writing-paper.
After some time we came to more sober resolutions, but then it was with this misfortune too, that my mother's opinion and mine were quite different from one another, and indeed inconsistent with one another; for my mother's opinion was, that I should bury the whole thing entirely, and continue to live with him as my husband till some other event should make the discovery of it more convenient; and that in the meantime she would endeavour to reconcile us together again, and restore our mutual comfort and family peace; that we might lie as we used to do together, and so let the whole matter remain a secret as close as death.
My mother put him off, told him she could bring me to no explanations, but found there was something that disturbed me very much, and she hoped she should get it out of me in time, and in the meantime recommended to him earnestly to use me more tenderly, and win me with his usual good carriage; told him of his terrifying and affrighting me with his threats of sending me to a madhouse, and the like, and advised him not to make a woman desperate on any account whatever.