waiting in the wings


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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
References in periodicals archive ?
"In order justify the capital expenditure, molders in the past needed the promise of a long job run, or at least the knowledge of having another job waiting in the wings to utilize the capacity of the press," says Eller.
In Waiting in the Wings, Noel Coward makes mischief in a retirement home for actresses
Waiting in the Wings * Written by Noel Coward * Directed by Michael Langham * Starring Lauren Bacall and Rosemary Harris * Walter Kerr Theatre, New York City
Instead, the occasion is being marked with Waiting in the Wings, almost the last play Coward ever wrote: It premiered in London in 1960 and has never been seen in New York before now.
JOHN GREGORY has one match to save his job - with Martin Allen waiting in the wings.
Despite his Community Shield penalty shoot-out heroics, Edwin van der Sar's erratic form will be on Sir Alex's Ferguson's mind and the champions have Tomasz Kuszczak and the excellent Ben Foster waiting in the wings.