worth while

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

While \While\, n. [AS. hw[imac]l; akin to OS. hw[imac]l,
   hw[imac]la, OFries. hw[imac]le, D. wigl, G. weile, OHG.
   w[imac]la, hw[imac]la, hw[imac]l, Icel. hv[imac]la a bed,
   hv[imac]ld rest, Sw. hvila, Dan. hvile, Goth. hweila a time,
   and probably to L. quietus quiet, and perhaps to Gr. ? the
   proper time of season. [root]20. Cf. Quiet, Whilom.]
   1. Space of time, or continued duration, esp. when short; a
      time; as, one while we thought him innocent. "All this
      while." --Shak.
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            This mighty queen may no while endure. --Chaucer.
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            [Some guest that] hath outside his welcome while,
            And tells the jest without the smile. --Coleridge.
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            I will go forth and breathe the air a while.
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   2. That which requires time; labor; pains. [Obs.]
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            Satan . . . cast him how he might quite her while.
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   At whiles, at times; at intervals.
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            And so on us at whiles it falls, to claim
            Powers that we dread.                 --J. H.
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   The while, The whiles, in or during the time that;
      meantime; while. --Tennyson.

   Within a while, in a short time; soon.

   Worth while, worth the time which it requires; worth the
      time and pains; hence, worth the expense; as, it is not
      always worth while for a man to prosecute for small debts.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Worth \Worth\, a. [OE. worth, wur[thorn], AS. weor[eth], wurE;
   akin to OFries. werth, OS. wer[eth], D. waard, OHG. werd, G.
   wert, werth, Icel. ver[eth]r, Sw. v[aum]rd, Dan. v[ae]rd,
   Goth. wa['i]rps, and perhaps to E. wary. Cf. Stalwart,
   Ware an article of merchandise, Worship.]
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   1. Valuable; of worthy; estimable; also, worth while. [Obs.]
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            It was not worth to make it wise.     --Chaucer.
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   2. Equal in value to; furnishing an equivalent for; proper to
      be exchanged for.
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            A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats. --Shak.
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            All our doings without charity are nothing worth.
                                                  --Bk. of Com.
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            If your arguments produce no conviction, they are
            worth nothing to me.                  --Beattie.
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   3. Deserving of; -- in a good or bad sense, but chiefly in a
      good sense.
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            To reign is worth ambition, though in hell.
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            This is life indeed, life worth preserving.
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   4. Having possessions equal to; having wealth or estate to
      the value of.
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            At Geneva are merchants reckoned worth twenty
            hundred crowns.                       --Addison.
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   Worth while, or Worth the while. See under While, n.
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