From Teflpedia

While is an English word; this article also discusses the related whilst

Despite beginning with the wh digraph, while is not a wh- word.

As a noun, it means a short period of time; "please wait for a while." It can also be a verb, (a regular verb) e.g. "to while away the hours"

As a conjunction/adverb it means "at the same time as". This can be used in time adverbials such as time clauses.

While can also be used for comparison, meaning "whereas". For example, …

In British English, speakers/writers may replace "while" with "whilst", but only as a conjunction/adverb particularly in formal writing.[1]

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