ex·pect | \ik-ˈspekt \
expected; expecting; expects

Definition of expect 

intransitive verb

1 archaic : wait, stay

2 : to look forward

3 : to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child used in progressive tenses she's expecting next month

transitive verb

1 archaic : await

2 : to anticipate or look forward to the coming or occurrence of we expect them any minute now expected a telephone call

3 : suppose, think

4a : to consider probable or certain expect to be forgiven expect that things will improve

b : to consider reasonable, due, or necessary expected hard work from the students

c : to consider bound in duty or obligated they expect you to pay your bills

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Other Words from expect

expectable \ik-ˈspek-tə-bəl \ adjective
expectably \ik-ˈspek-tə-blē \ adverb
expectedly adverb
expectedness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for expect

expect, hope, look mean to await some occurrence or outcome. expect implies a high degree of certainty and usually involves the idea of preparing or envisioning. expects to be finished by Tuesday hope implies little certainty but suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one desires or longs for will happen. hopes to find a job soon look, with to, implies assurance that expectations will be fulfilled looks to a tidy profit from the sale ; with for it implies less assurance and suggests an attitude of expectancy and watchfulness. look for rain when the wind shifts to the northeast

Examples of expect in a Sentence

As expected, the election was very close. It's expected that the new products will be available next month. Prices are expected to rise. He's opposed to the new law, as you might expect. Good things sometimes happen when you least expect them. I'm expecting a phone call. The expected delivery date is next month. He's a teacher who expects hard work from his students. We expected more from you. This is not the kind of behavior I expected of you.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The global blockchain market is expected to grow by about 43 percent between 2017 and 2022, resulting in nearly $14 billion in revenue, according to a March report by Netscribes. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 The pair set off to hike near Beaver Creek on Sunday and were expected to return Monday, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "GPS device leads rescue team to missing father, son in Coconino National Forest," 13 July 2018 Traditional media companies’ profits are expected to drop by 41% over the next seven years, according to Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger, due to cord-cutting and advertising declines. Keach Hagey, WSJ, "Deal or No Deal: The Shadow Over Sun Valley," 13 July 2018 The project is expected to take about one month to complete, with a tentative reopening date of Aug. 17, according to village officials. Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown, "Wolf Road closed for bridge repairs in Mokena," 13 July 2018 The Republican National Committee is expected to formally award the convention at its summer meeting in Austin next week, according to city officials and state GOP leaders. Steve Harrison And Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Why did council Democrats wait to oppose RNC? An inside look at Charlotte’s bid.," 13 July 2018 Manchester United defender Daley Blind is expected to finalise his return to Ajax within the next '48 hours', according to Dutch reports. SI.com, "Daley Blind Expected to Depart Man Utd Within '48 Hours' to Rejoin Ajax," 12 July 2018 Police do not expect to file additional charges in the case, according to the statement. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "California Woman Arrested After Allegedly Beating Man, 92, and Telling Him 'Go Back to Mexico'," 12 July 2018 No date has been set for extradition, but it is expected to happen soon, according to Wiebke Hoffelner, a Schleswig-Holstein state prosecutor. New York Times, "Ex-Catalonia Leader Can Be Extradited, but Not on the Charge Spain Wants," 12 July 2018

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

1560, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for expect

Latin exspectare to look forward to, from ex- + spectare to look at, frequentative of specere to look — more at spy

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Phrases Related to expect

expect/fear the worst

Statistics for expect

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expect

The first known use of expect was in 1560

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More Definitions for expect



English Language Learners Definition of expect

: to think that something will probably or certainly happen

: to think that (someone or something) will arrive or that (something) will happen

: to consider (something) to be reasonable, required, or necessary


ex·pect | \ik-ˈspekt \
expected; expecting

Kids Definition of expect

1 : to think that something probably will be or happen They expect rain. Close up the motorcycle looked even better than he expected.— Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle

2 : to await the arrival of We're expecting guests.

3 : to consider to be obliged I expect you to pay your debts.

4 : to consider reasonable, due, or necessary I expect your attention.

ex·pect | \ik-ˈspekt \

Medical Definition of expect 

: to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child used in progressive tenses she's expecting next month

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Comments on expect

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


lying above or upon

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