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

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

And just this week, the British royal was reported to have cut out alcohol and caffeine altogether at his wife's request, looking happier and healthier than ever with the expectant mother-to-be at his side. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "All the Ways Meghan Markle Has Transformed Prince Harry’s Bad Boy Health Habits," 4 Jan. 2019 Pregnancy requires expectant mothers to make tons of adjustments to their everyday lives—some tiny, some huge. Dan Barna, Glamour, "Meghan Markle Has to Toast With Water Now, So Prince Harry Did, Too," 23 Oct. 2018 The speakers also said that junior hires—perhaps more accustomed to hopping between jobs—were less tolerant of grunt work and more expectant of mentoring and career guidance. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Finance Chiefs See Talent Development Among Top Concerns," 21 Sep. 2018 Couples have argued for years over whether to learn their baby’s gender during pregnancy—with the final ruling typically going to the expectant mom. Janet Adamy, WSJ, "Baby’s First Secret: Hiding Its Gender From Dad," 4 Oct. 2018 But unlike most expectant parents, Hathaway and her husband Adam Shulman, have surprisingly downsized. Bridget Mallon, ELLE Decor, "Anne Hathaway Just Dropped $2.55 Million On A NYC Penthouse," 4 Feb. 2016 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

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

8 Jan 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 \

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

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