This method causes the current thread (call it T) to place itself in the wait set for this object and then to relinquish any and all synchronization claims on this object. Thread T becomes disabled for thread scheduling purposes and lies dormant until one of four things happens:
- Some other thread invokes the notify method for this object and thread T happens to be arbitrarily chosen as the thread to be awakened.
- Some other thread invokes the notifyAll method for this object.
- Some other thread interrupts thread T.
- The specified amount of real time has elapsed, more or less. If timeout is zero, however, then real time is not taken into consideration and the thread simply waits until notified.

The thread T is then removed from the wait set for this object and re-enabled for thread scheduling. It then competes in the usual manner with other threads for the right to synchronize on the object; once it has gained control of the object, all its synchronization claims on the object are restored to the status quo ante - that is, to the situation as of the time that the wait method was invoked. Thread T then returns from the invocation of the wait method. Thus, on return from the wait method, the synchronization state of the object and of thread T is exactly as it was when the wait method was invoked.