ex·​pec·​tant | \ ik-ˈspek-tənt How to pronounce expectant (audio) \

Definition of expectant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : characterized by expectation
2 : expecting the birth of a child expectant mothers



Definition of expectant (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who is looking forward to something

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Other Words from expectant


expectantly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for expectant

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of expectant in a Sentence

Adjective An expectant crowd waited for her arrival. expectant crowds gathered at the spot where the President was scheduled to make an appearance Noun divinity students who were all expectants for a curacy
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The dramatic shot showed the expectant star posing nude in a field of long grass. Gabrielle Chung, PEOPLE.com, 26 July 2021 How much folate per day do expectant mothers need daily? Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Cdn, Nasm-cpt, Good Housekeeping, 22 July 2021 This spring, when other athletes were preparing to fly to Tokyo, Australian shooter Elena Galiabovitch was standing in a drive-through clinic, waiting to swab expectant noses for COVID-19. Time, 8 July 2021 Thousands of expectant fans had gathered on Wembley Way -- the famous road that leads up to England's national stadium -- several hours before kick off, their nerves manifesting in a cacophony of songs and chants that were never quite in sync. Matias Grez, CNN, 29 June 2021 No doubt that going pro in 2018, after a freshman year of running for the University of Kentucky, has also compounded that sense of anticipation, that nearly palpable feeling of expectant possibility. SELF, 28 June 2021 To create her elaborate burrow, an expectant female goanna first digs out about two feet of soil and piles it in a nearby mound. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 25 June 2021 All Day’s footage suggests the car’s expectant owners may have to wait a bit longer, as the marque continues road tests. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 23 June 2021 Sympathy pain isn't just for expectant fathers anymore. Steve Hummer, ajc, 19 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Of greater consequence was the e-mail itself—an apologetic note signed by ABC’s C.E.O., Aaron Rose—on which two hundred and three other couch-expectant recipients were cc’d instead of bcc’d. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, 27 Mar. 2021 The setting is lush, yet claustrophobic; the mood expectant, but not without anxiety. Colin B. Bailey, The New York Review of Books, 17 Nov. 2020 Meanwhile, the then-expectant mom gave updates on her pregnancy thus far. Mary Green, PEOPLE.com, 30 July 2020 The club asked supporters to come dressed in lilywhite on what was a hot and murky September evening, expectant of a win to open this new chapter in their history. SI.com, 25 Sep. 2019 This at a time when party operatives were worse that a dirty U.S. Congressmen, gift-expectant, institutionally incapable of hearing anything at all. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, 27 May 2019 Also on Thursday, expectant Catherine shared a new photo of the adorable big brother-to-be after Sean’s tweet. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, 15 Mar. 2018 The expectant Keeping Up with the Kardashians reality star, 33, showed off her glamorous ensemble on Instagram Wednesday during her sibling trip in Japan. Karen Mizoguchi, PEOPLE.com, 28 Feb. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1609, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for expectant

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The first known use of expectant was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near expectant



expectant mother

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Statistics for expectant

Last Updated

3 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expectant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expectant. Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for expectant



English Language Learners Definition of expectant

: feeling or thinking that something will happen : expecting something
: expecting the birth of a child : soon to become a parent


ex·​pec·​tant | \ ik-ˈspek-tənt How to pronounce expectant (audio) \

Kids Definition of expectant

1 : looking forward to or waiting for something
2 : awaiting the birth of a child an expectant mother


ex·​pec·​tant | \ -tənt How to pronounce expectant (audio) \

Medical Definition of expectant

: expecting the birth of a child expectant mothers

More from Merriam-Webster on expectant

Nglish: Translation of expectant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expectant for Arabic Speakers


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