1. ready and available to seize an opportunity
waiting in the wings to succeed someone
The 'wings' of a stage are the part offstage where an actor waits to make an entrance in order to be seen by the public. The expression 'wait in the wings' comes from the actor or understudy waiting for their moment to perform. If you say someone is 'waiting in the wings' they are ready and prepared to be called upon and become important. The phrase 'lurking in the wings' has the same meaning.