an·​tic·​i·​pa·​to·​ry an-ˈti-sə-pə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce anticipatory (audio)
: characterized by anticipation : anticipating
took anticipatory measures to prevent floods

Examples of anticipatory in a Sentence

couldn't control his anticipatory excitement on Christmas morning
Recent Examples on the Web Bangladesh has implemented more anticipatory measures than any other country. Cameron Pugh, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Jan. 2024 The health care system can better equip clinicians to provide anticipatory guidance and education on menstrual health and menstrual disorders. Dr. Joanne Armstrong, Fortune, 16 Oct. 2023 Bernstein leaps up, opens the curtains, flings his arms wide, and utters a roar of anticipatory delight, like Tarzan greeting a bright new day in the jungle. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 According to the principles of responsible research and innovation, science policy should be anticipatory and self-critical, actively seek other viewpoints, and respond to public values. Gregory E. Kaebnick, STAT, 15 Sep. 2023 This is called status quo bias or anticipatory obedience. Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 9 Sep. 2022 Sometimes anticipatory purchasing leads to supply challenges. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 25 Aug. 2023 For all the anticipatory joy at the prospect of being the first NBA team after 150 previous tries to win a playoff series from an 0-3 hole, there is the anticipatory dread on the other side of being the first team after 150 tries to lose a series after leading by a 3-0 count. Tara Sullivan,, 26 May 2023 When choosing an urban hotel, travelers to Canada can count on warm, anticipatory service, plush accommodations, and properties imbued with a sense of history. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, 11 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'anticipatory.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1669, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of anticipatory was in 1669

Dictionary Entries Near anticipatory

Cite this Entry

“Anticipatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Legal Definition


an·​tic·​i·​pa·​tory an-ˈti-sə-pə-ˌtōr-ē How to pronounce anticipatory (audio)
: of or relating to a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action
an anticipatory challenge brought for declaratory and injunctive reliefL. H. Tribe

More from Merriam-Webster on anticipatory

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