Definition of anticipate
1 : to give advance thought, discussion, or treatment to
2 : to meet (an obligation) before a due date
3 : to foresee and deal with in advance : forestall
4 : to use or expend in advance of actual possession
5 : to act before (another) often so as to check or counter
6 : to look forward to as certain : expect
: to speak or write in knowledge or expectation of later matter
anticipatableplay \-ˌpā-tə-bəl\ adjective
anticipatorplay \-ˌpā-tər\ noun
Examples of anticipate in a sentence
The cost turned out to be higher than anticipated.
The author anticipated objections to his theory.
The organizers of the fair anticipate a large crowd.
I did not anticipate having to pay for your ticket.
He eagerly anticipated her arrival.
Origin and Etymology of anticipate
Latin anticipatus, past participle of anticipare, from ante- + -cipare (from capere to take) — more at heave
First Known Use: 1532
Synonym Discussion of anticipate
prevent, anticipate, forestall mean to deal with beforehand. prevent implies taking advance measures against something possible or probable <measures taken to prevent leaks>. anticipate may imply merely getting ahead of another by being a precursor or forerunner or it may imply checking another's intention by acting first <anticipated the question by making a statement>. forestall implies a getting ahead so as to stop or interrupt something in its course <hoped to forestall the sale>.
ANTICIPATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of anticipate for English Language Learners
: to think of (something that will or might happen in the future)
: to expect or look ahead to (something) with pleasure : to look forward to (something)
: to do something before someone else
ANTICIPATE Defined for Kids
Definition of anticipate for Students
1 : to foresee and deal with or provide for beforehand <The waiters anticipate your every wish.>
2 : to look forward to <… now everyone anticipated the celebration. — Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising>
Medical Definition of anticipate
transitive verb: to give advance thought to
intransitive verb: to come before the expected time—used especially of medical symptoms
Legal Definition of anticipate
1 : to bar or invalidate (a patent) by anticipation <the patent on the compound had been anticipated by the Beilstein reference — Misani v. Ortho Pharm. Corp., 210 A.2d 609 (1965)>
2 : to negate the novelty of (an invention) by its appearance in prior art <appeared to have anticipated a variable light makeup mirror — Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Co., 503 N.Y.S.2d 334 (1986)>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up anticipate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).