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2 definitions found
 for busy-wait
From The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) :

  busy-wait
   vi.
  
      Used of human behavior, conveys that the subject is busy waiting for
      someone or something, intends to move instantly as soon as it shows up, and
      thus cannot do anything else at the moment. ?Can't talk now, I'm
      busy-waiting till Bill gets off the phone.?
  
      Technically, busy-wait means to wait on an event by spinning through a
      tight or timed-delay loop that polls for the event on each pass, as opposed
      to setting up an interrupt handler and continuing execution on another part
      of the task. In applications this is a wasteful technique, and best avoided
      on timesharing systems where a busy-waiting program may hog the
      processor. However, it is often unavoidable in kernel programming. In the
      Linux world, kernel busy-waits are usually referred to as spinlocks.
  

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  busy-wait
  
      To wait for an event by spinning through a
     tight loop or timed-delay loop that polls for the event on
     each pass, as opposed to setting up an interrupt handler and
     continuing execution on another part of the task.  This is a
     wasteful technique, best avoided on time-sharing systems
     where a busy-waiting program may hog the processor.
  
     [{Jargon File]
  
     (1999-06-10)
  

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