expect

verb
ex·​pect | \ ik-ˈspekt How to pronounce expect (audio) \
expected; expecting; expects

Definition of expect

transitive verb

1a : to consider probable or certain expect to be forgiven expect that things will improve
b : to consider reasonable, due, or necessary expected hard work from the students
c : to consider bound in duty or obligated they expect you to pay your bills
2 : to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of we expect them any minute now expected a telephone call
3 : suppose, think
4 archaic : await

intransitive verb

1 : to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child used in progressive tenses she's expecting next month
2 : to look forward
3 archaic : wait, stay

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Other Words from expect

expectable \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce expect (audio) \ adjective
expectably \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​blē How to pronounce expect (audio) \ adverb
expectedly adverb
expectedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for expect

expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome. expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning. expects to be finished by Tuesday hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen. hopes to find a job soon look, with to, implies assurance that expectations will be fulfilled looks to a tidy profit from the sale ; with for it implies less assurance and suggests an attitude of expectancy and watchfulness. look for rain when the wind shifts to the northeast

Examples of expect in a Sentence

As expected, the election was very close. It's expected that the new products will be available next month. Prices are expected to rise. He's opposed to the new law, as you might expect. Good things sometimes happen when you least expect them. I'm expecting a phone call. The expected delivery date is next month. He's a teacher who expects hard work from his students. We expected more from you. This is not the kind of behavior I expected of you.
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Recent Examples on the Web Analysts expect 50% year-over-year revenue growth for the company’s second quarter, which will be reported Thursday. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Skyworks Pares Its Reliance on Apple," 24 Apr. 2021 Experts expect to see them between late April and mid-May. London Gibson, The Indianapolis Star, "10 hot spots to see cicadas around Indiana," 23 Apr. 2021 After thousands of property value assessments were delayed last year because of the coronavirus, many landowners and businesses around Louisville can expect to see new valuations in the coming weeks. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Your Louisville property value assessment may have increased. Here's how to check," 23 Apr. 2021 But analysts expect that share to rise rapidly as battery advancements bring down the costs of EVs in the coming years. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Honda to phase out gas cars, aiming for 100% electric vehicles in North America by 2040," 23 Apr. 2021 If the past several years serve as an example, Cuba can expect to see and hear more from its citizens and dissidents itching for change. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cuba after the Castros: Three questions," 21 Apr. 2021 If the content is on a product page, people expect to see a sales pitch. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "14 Ways To Ensure A Content Marketing Strategy Provides Value To Audiences," 21 Apr. 2021 Readers can soon expect to see the first batch of stories from a new partnership between The Salt Lake Tribune and the nonprofit Amplify Utah focused on highlighting the state’s diverse communities and engaging younger readers. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utahns will soon see first stories from new project focused on diverse journalism," 19 Apr. 2021 How might consumers expect to see climate change reflected in insurance costs going forward? Stephanie Pappas, Scientific American, "Climate Emergency Stymies Forecasts of Local Disaster Risks," 16 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expect.' 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 expect

1560, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

History and Etymology for expect

Latin exspectare to look forward to, from ex- + spectare to look at, frequentative of specere to look — more at spy

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Learn More about expect

Statistics for expect

Last Updated

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expect. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for expect

expect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of expect

: to think that something will probably or certainly happen
: to think that (someone or something) will arrive or that (something) will happen
: to consider (something) to be reasonable, required, or necessary

expect

verb
ex·​pect | \ ik-ˈspekt How to pronounce expect (audio) \
expected; expecting

Kids Definition of expect

1 : to think that something probably will be or happen They expect rain. Close up the motorcycle looked even better than he expected.— Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle
2 : to await the arrival of We're expecting guests.
3 : to consider to be obliged I expect you to pay your debts.
4 : to consider reasonable, due, or necessary I expect your attention.
ex·​pect | \ ik-ˈspekt How to pronounce expect (audio) \

Medical Definition of expect

: to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child used in progressive tenses she's expecting next month

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Comments on expect

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