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

This city did not expect such a crowd as plied from the coaches which numbered more than 1000 and together with 300 who came in automobiles completely swamped the town so far as eating accommodations were concerned. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Escondido celebrated first Grape Day in 1908," 10 Sep. 2019 The former Phoenix police officer hadn't expected that much blood. AZCentral.com, "Police shootings in Arizona," 10 Sep. 2019 Don't expect Ma to be out of the picture entirely, Sherisse writes. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Apple investors need its new iPhone to be a hit," 10 Sep. 2019 Scientists expect genetic change to accumulate at a steady rate, like a clock, so more genetic differences mean that more time has passed since two species shared a common ancestor. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, "Smithsonian Researchers Triple the Number of Electric Eel Species, Including One With Record-Setting Shock Ability," 10 Sep. 2019 Stay tuned for the rest of the season to see if Kourtney continues to let fans in on her hair troubles — but don't expect to see her in a tight ponytail anytime soon. Neha Prakash, Allure, "Kourtney Kardashian Reveals She Underwent Platelet-Rich Plasma Treatment for a Bald Spot," 9 Sep. 2019 Pre-order today for a late September expected delivery. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "University of Tennessee turns bullied 4th grader's T-shirt design into official school apparel," 9 Sep. 2019 School board members expect to see a draft of the CIP at their Sept. 11 meeting. Catalina Righter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Potential partial redistricting, budget unknowns discussed in meeting of Carroll school board, commissioners," 9 Sep. 2019 When the lifetime tributes start to roll in for Nicole Kidman, don’t expect more than a passing reference to 2003’s The Human Stain. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, "Hollywood Flashback: Nicole Kidman Took to Toronto With 'Stain' in 2003," 8 Sep. 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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Learn More about expect

Statistics for expect

Last Updated

14 Sep 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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