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

agape, agog, anticipant, anticipatory

Synonyms: Noun

applicant, applier, aspirant, campaigner, candidate, contender, hopeful, prospect, seeker

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of expectant in a Sentence


An expectant crowd waited for her arrival. expectant crowds gathered at the spot where the President was scheduled to make an appearance


divinity students who were all expectants for a curacy
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Now, in front of an expectant country, with the game broadcast far and wide, England's cricketers have the opportunity to inspire and transcend sport, just like the Lionesses did weeks ago. James Masters, CNN, "England vs. New Zealand: World Cup final on national TV offers chance to inspire a generation," 13 July 2019 Hotel California,’’Chavez Ravine feels like a giant party with an audible buzz, an expectant rumble, every swing an event. Bill Plaschke, latimes.com, "Dodgers are championship material once the bullpen is bolstered," 3 June 2019 Inside the halls of Tulsa’s Nathan Hale High School, pregnant and expectant youth gathered with a counselor to learn safe sleeping tips for their babies on the way. Janna Zinzi, Teen Vogue, "For Teen Parents in Tulsa, Respect in School Is the Key to Success," 29 May 2019 Some groups even develop an infrastructure to support their operations, though this is expensive and may increase the number of expectant beneficiaries (if operations are mounted on credit, for example). Joel Simon, The New York Review of Books, "Anne Diebel," 9 May 2019 In one, an algorithm is invented to permanently delete specific Wikipedia entries; in another, a medical procedure allows expectant mothers to redirect natal pain to their partners. Dallas News, "Chuck Klosterman tries to make sense of our absurd reality in 'Raised in Captivity'," 16 July 2019 Still cramping severely, the first-time expectant mother spent the next 24 hours trying to sleep. Adria Watson, The Mercury News, "A black mother told not to scream in labor asks: Can California fix racism in maternity care?," 11 July 2019 The children, including infants and expectant mothers, are dirty, cold, hungry and sleep-deprived. Bob Ortega, CNN, "Doctor says Border Patrol often misses early signs of illness in migrant children," 1 July 2019 About 22% of Indiana residents smoke and 13% of expectant mothers. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "For smokers trying to quit, Chantix, Zyban will no longer require a prescription," 12 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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, "Meeting Gorbachev, Werner Herzog's Documentary, Is a Historical Thriller for Today," 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, "Father-to-Be Sean Lowe Shares the Hilarious Reality of 'Parenting a Toddler'," 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, "Is This Khloé Kardashian's Sexiest Maternity Photo Ever? (She's in the Shower!)," 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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Statistics for expectant

Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expectant

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

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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

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Comments on expectant

What made you want to look up expectant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to shake or wave menacingly

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