noun an·tic·i·pa·tion \ (ˌ)an-ˌti-sə-ˈpā-shən \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of anticipation

1 a : a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action
  • hired more security guards in anticipation of a large crowd
b : the act of looking forward; especially : pleasurable expectation
  • looked forward with anticipation to their arrival
2 : the use of money before it is available
3 a : visualization of a future event or state
b : an object or form that anticipates a later type
4 : the early sounding of one or more tones of a succeeding chord to form a temporary dissonance — compare suspension

Examples of anticipation in a Sentence

  1. She had a feeling of great anticipation before her graduation ceremony.

  2. He looked forward to the party with anticipation.

Recent Examples of anticipation from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anticipation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of anticipation

anticipation Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of anticipation

prospect, outlook, anticipation, foretaste mean an advance realization of something to come. prospect implies expectation of a particular event, condition, or development of definite interest or concern.
    • the prospect of a quiet weekend
outlook suggests a forecasting of the future.
    • a favorable outlook for the economy
anticipation implies a prospect or outlook that involves advance suffering or enjoyment of what is foreseen.
    • the anticipation of her arrival
foretaste implies an actual though brief or partial experience of something forthcoming.
    • the frost was a foretaste of winter

ANTICIPATION Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of anticipation for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen

  • : the act of preparing for something

ANTICIPATION Defined for Kids


noun an·tic·i·pa·tion \ an-ˌti-sə-ˈpā-shən \

Definition of anticipation for Students

1 : excitement about something that's going to happen
  • She looked forward to the trip with anticipation.
2 : the act of preparing for something

Medical Dictionary


noun an·tic·i·pa·tion \ (ˌ)an-ˌtis-ə-ˈpā-shən \

medical Definition of anticipation

1 : occurrence (as of a disease or symptom) before the normal or expected time
2 : mental attitude that influences a later response

Law Dictionary


noun an·ti·ci·pa·tion \ an-ˌti-sə-ˈpā-shən \

legal Definition of anticipation

: the knowledge or use of an invention in the U.S. or the patenting or describing of the invention in a publication in the U.S. or a foreign country before the discovery by a patent applicant
Note: Case law has established that every claim or element of a claim has to be disclosed in the prior art in order for a patent application to be barred by anticipation. If an application is amended to consist of claims not disclosed in the prior art, invalidation by anticipation can be avoided.

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fullness to the point of excess

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