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1. To stay awake later in the night than usual while waiting for someone to arrive home. It's going to be quite late before I get home, so don't wait up for me. I've been waiting up all night scared to death that you might be hurt, or worse!
2. command Stop or slow down so I can catch up with you. Hey, wait up, guys! I'm coming too! Tell them to not to wait up—I need to change this tire, so I'll be a while.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
wait up (a minute)
Wait for me while I catch up with you! Tom, who was following Mary down the street, said, "Wait up a minute! I need to talk to you." John: Hey, Sally! Wait up! Sally: What's happening?
wait up (until something)
to delay going to bed until a certain time or until something happens or someone arrives. Are you going to wait up until midnight? We waited up until we heard him come in the back door.
wait up(for someone or something)
1. Fig. to stay up late waiting for someone to arrive or something to happen. I'll be home late. Don't wait up for me. We waited up for the coming of the new year, and then we went to bed.
2. and hold up (for someone or something)Fig. to wait for someone or something to catch up. Hey! Don't go so fast. Wait up for me. Hold up! You're going too fast.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Postpone going to bed in anticipation of someone or something, as in My parents always wait up until I get home, no matter how late it is. [Mid-1800s]
2. Stop or pause so that another can catch up, as in Let's wait up for the stragglers, or Don't walk so fast; wait up for me. [Colloquial]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To postpone going to bed in expectation: We will be out late tonight, so don't wait up. The children waited up for their parents to come home.
2. To stop or pause so that another can catch up: The leader of the hike waited up for the stragglers.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.