wait in the wings

wait in the wings

To be ready and available while waiting to help or replace someone. (Actors traditionally wait in an area known as "the wings" of the theater before stepping on stage.) My assistant is waiting in the wings to take my job once I retire. The recent surge in politicians under 30 makes it clear that the youth of our nation have been waiting in the wings for their chance to lead the country. She waited in the wings to take over the company from her father.
See also: wait, wing

waiting in the wings

Fig. ready or prepared to do something, especially to take over someone else's job or position. Mr. Smith retires as manager next year, and Mr. Jones is just waiting in the wings. Jane was waiting in the wings, hoping that a member of the hockey team would drop out and she would get a place on the team.
See also: waiting, wing

wait in the wings

stand ready to do something or to be used at the appropriate time.
See also: wait, wing