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

From Harry putting his arm around his wife, to Meghan reaching for the prince's arm, the expectant parents were as sweet as ever. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's Buckingham Palace PDA Will Absolutely Slay You," 5 Mar. 2019 In one group, expectant parents attended education sessions on strategies to help babies fall asleep on their own. Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "Babies’ Sleep Linked to Lower Obesity Risks Years Later," 15 Oct. 2018 Weimer said fireworks are being used to bring in the New Year, celebrate birthdays, weddings and even gender announcements for expectant parents, extending business beyond the summer. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Fireworks retailers prepare for July 4: 'Most of the people are looking for loud and colorful'," 29 June 2018 So what are expectant parents in the United States supposed to do about this burden? Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "Even Kate Middleton's Luxury Hospital Stay Costs Less Than a Typical Birth in America," 26 Apr. 2018 Founded in 2011 by Ariane Goldman, Hatch offers wardrobe pieces and natural beauty products for expectant moms who have a keen sense of style and are, in a word, cool. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Hatch Dress and 3 Other Maternity Brands That Are Actually Chic," 11 Jan. 2019 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

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

19 Mar 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).


likely to have or produce good results

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