Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the meaning of family members’ experience of waiting in an intensive care context using Rodgers’ evolutionary method of concept analysis. Method: Systematic searches in CINAHL and PubMed retrieved 38 articles which illustrated the waiting experienced by family members in an intensive care context. Rodgers’ evolutionary method of concept analysis was applied to the data. Findings: In total, five elements of the concept were identified in the analysis. These were as follows: living in limbo; feeling helpless and powerless; hoping; enduring; and fearing the worst. Family members’ vigilance regarding their relative proved to be a related concept, but vigilance does not share the same set of attributes. The consequences of waiting were often negative for the relatives and caused them suffering. The references show that the concept was manifested in different situations and in intensive care units (ICUs) with various types of specialties. Conclusions: The application of concept analysis has brought a deeper understanding and meaning to the experience of waiting among family members in an intensive care context. This may provide professionals with an awareness of how to take care of family members in this situation. The waiting is inevitable, but improved communication between the ICU staff and family members is necessary to reduce stress and alleviate the suffering of family members. It is important to acknowledge that waiting cannot be eliminated but family-centred care, including a friendly and welcoming hospital environment, can ease the burden of family members with a loved one in an ICU.