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 expectable (audio) \ adjective
expectably \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​blē How to pronounce expectably (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

Negative interest rates also cause behaviors financial professionals didn't expect. Erik Sherman, Fortune, "‘Negative’ Interest Rates Used to be Unthinkable in the U.S.—Not Anymore," 14 Aug. 2019 On the sailing’s final day, breakfast will be served, but don’t expect any other activities. Elissa Garay, Condé Nast Traveler, "A First-Timer's Guide to Cruising," 14 Aug. 2019 And don’t expect to see a break on your cable bill or bar tab. Christina Prignano, BostonGlobe.com, "Massachusetts’ tax-free weekend: Everything you need to know," 14 Aug. 2019 Those words are repeated before and after every game, a reminder that every player from the top to the bottom of the roster is expected to be willing to contribute at any moment of any game. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City defender Kamal Miller steps up against Toronto FC under hometown lights," 14 Aug. 2019 Successful arrangements also need to include a commensurate cut to the amount of work expected of the employee. Cassie Werber, Quartz at Work, "The three-stage blueprint for “crafting” a flexible career," 13 Aug. 2019 The results were a mix of the expected and the strange. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Investment managers don’t understand how to rate funds managed by black people," 13 Aug. 2019 DeChellis said the cut portions of the tree were left behind for the homeowners, who will have to remove the remainder of the pine and can soon expect to receive a bill from the city for the work that was done. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "City assists after downed pine on private La Forest Drive blocks road," 13 Aug. 2019 The United States surely does not expect migrants who want to live in Texas or California to settle on waiting for that dream in Guatemala as their paperwork trundles through a very clogged and restrictive US system. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Guatemala's new president could give Trump a huge headache on immigration," 12 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for expect

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expect

The first known use of expect was in 1560

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on expect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expect

Spanish Central: Translation of expect

Nglish: Translation of expect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on expect

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