an·​tic·​i·​pa·​to·​ry | \an-ˈti-sə-pə-ˌtȯr-ē \

Definition of anticipatory 

: characterized by anticipation : anticipating took anticipatory measures to prevent floods

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Synonyms for anticipatory


agape, agog, anticipant, expectant

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Examples of anticipatory in a Sentence

couldn't control his anticipatory excitement on Christmas morning

Recent Examples on the Web

But thanks to anticipatory actions taken by the world’s leading producers, including the U.S., to make up the difference, there should be minimal effect on global energy markets. Rick Perry, WSJ, "The World Can Live Without Iranian Oil," 4 Nov. 2018 And when Denmark ran up the white flag for real, passing between its center backs for a full 30 seconds in the 85th minute, the boos and whistles were louder than the anticipatory cheers for the anthems two hours earlier. Andrew Das, New York Times, "France and Denmark Advance After World Cup’s First 0-0 Draw," 27 June 2018 The home printing setup at Arnold’s house was clearly an anticipatory move on his (sorry, Ford’s) part, which comes in handy considering those five marbles smuggled out in Ms. Dolores Hale’s purse — who might be they? William Lee,, "‘Westworld’ Episode 10 recap: 5 things to know about ‘The Passenger’ and Season 2's finale," 24 June 2018 Keeping everyone employed is getting tougher but remains a priority: Knott says the cost of steel to Riverdale has nearly doubled since Jan. 1, in large part because of the tariffs or anticipatory hoarding that took place in advance of them. Jon Chesto,, "Trade battle takes its toll on local manufacturers," 11 June 2018 And in those anticipatory overnight hours, all of the layers soften and bleed together to create a divine mousse-like cake. Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit, "This Is Our Chillest Icebox Cake EVER," 18 June 2018 The summit, for all the anticipatory hype, was never expected to produce much in the way of new policies or strategy. Barbara Demick,, "Singapore summit agreement recycles old deals and defers the hard work," 13 June 2018 This stretches the fun: Making a date for a two-hour concert can produce two months of anticipatory pleasure. Laura Vanderkam, WSJ, "Tricks for Savoring Summer’s Fleeting Delights," 8 June 2018 The two departments made arrangements to have the deal completed in Indianapolis, and IMPD teams coordinated to obtain an anticipatory search warrant for the location of the drug deal. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Weed candies, 50 pounds of dope and $92k seized in massive IMPD, Kansas police bust," 7 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of anticipatory

1669, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for anticipatory

The first known use of anticipatory was in 1669

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More Definitions for anticipatory


an·​tic·​i·​pa·​tory | \an-ˈti-sə-pə-ˌtōr-ē \

Legal Definition of anticipatory 

: of or relating to a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action an anticipatory challenge brought for declaratory and injunctive relief— L. H. Tribe

Other Words from anticipatory

anticipatorily \-​ˌti-​sə-​pə-​ˈtōr-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on anticipatory

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anticipatory

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for anticipatory

Spanish Central: Translation of anticipatory

Nglish: Translation of anticipatory for Spanish Speakers

Comments on anticipatory

What made you want to look up anticipatory? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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