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I was asked to name the highlighted part of speech in the given sentence.

They while away the evenings with books and games.

the sentence, however didn't felt grammatically correct to me, and I didn't know what the sentence actually meant. So I said verb arbitrarily, which to my surprise was the correct answer. Can anyone explain me what the sentence actually mean and how is while a verb here?

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whiled away; whiling away; whiles away Definition of while away : to spend (time) doing something pleasant and easy We whiled away the afternoon with a walk around the garden.

Merriam-Webster

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