ex·​pec·​tant | \ik-ˈspek-tənt \

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

big, caught, enceinte, expecting, gone, gravid, heavy, pregnant, quick [archaic]

Synonyms: Noun

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

Antonyms: Adjective


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

After making a chic appearance at the annual tennis tournament with her brother a few days ago, the expectant mother is back with another summery ensemble. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Pippa Middleton Just Wore a Printed Maxi Dress to Wimbledon," 13 July 2018 Group Baby Shower The second day of Travelers events in Cromwell included a baby shower put on for 40 expectant military women. Shawn Mcfarland, courant.com, "Travelers Notebook: U.S. Open Champ Brooks Koepka A Late Arriver," 19 June 2018 The Baltimore Sun reports that new and expectant mothers gathered at the Baltimore VA Medical Center on Saturday to celebrate the 56 babies born to local female veterans over the last year. Fox News, "Veterans Affairs uses baby showers to feature maternity care," 8 May 2018 Dozens of new and expectant mothers played games and listened to speakers among pink and blue balloons, gift bags and birthday cake to celebrate the birth of 56 babies born to local female veterans over the last year. Catherine Rentz, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore VA hospital hosts baby shower for veterans who are expectant or new mothers," 5 May 2018 The free event is open to the public and will provide information to new and expectant mothers about staying healthy before, during and after pregnancy. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 27 Apr. 2018 And what do these new and expectant mothers get in exchange for the extra money? Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Kate Middleton's Royal Baby Birth Probably Cost Less Than Giving Birth in the U.S.," 24 Apr. 2018 Greenfield's ambulances seem to have become rolling maternity wards, with the stork delivering babies well before the ambulance can get expectant mothers to the hospital. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'It's raining babies': Greenfield paramedics deliver second baby in two weeks," 27 June 2018 On Saturday, the expectant star attended the POPSUGAR Play/Ground event in New York City. Jamie Spain, PEOPLE.com, "Working Mom Kate Hudson Says Her Kids 'Are Always Prioritized': I Want Them to 'Feel Loved'," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

12 Nov 2018

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 \

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 \

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 clear from alleged fault or guilt

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