expect

verb
ex·​pect | \ ik-ˈspekt How to pronounce expect (audio) \
expected; expecting; expects

Definition of expect

transitive verb

1a : 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
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
4 archaic : await

intransitive verb

1 : to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child used in progressive tenses she's expecting next month
2 : to look forward
3 archaic : wait, stay

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Other Words from expect

expectable \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce expectable (audio) \ adjective
expectably \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​blē How to pronounce expectably (audio) \ 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

Since overall electricity demand is expected to hold steady, that would fulfill more than one-third of the country’s needs. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom," 28 Mar. 2019 Don't expect to see more Schitt's Creek before 2020. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Schitt's Creek's Sixth Season Will Be Its Last. Here's What We Know About Its Final Run.," 22 Mar. 2019 But don't expect to see too many scenes showing the stars' only child. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "'Home Town' Stars Erin and Ben Napier Reveal Why They Rarely Show Their Baby on TV," 28 Jan. 2019 There's no word on what fans might be able to expect from this upcoming release, but social media is already more than happy to support the star. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "KJ Apa Teased New Music, Likely From His Band the Good Time Boys," 25 Mar. 2019 Skin Here's what to expect from the skin-care brand this spring. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "Exclusive: Skinfix's Products Are Getting More Eco-Friendly Packaging — and Coming to Sephora," 19 Mar. 2019 Nothing is really known about Hayley Erin's character, but any Pretty Little Liars fan knows to expect something huge. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Meet the Cast and Characters of "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists"," 14 Mar. 2019 In just four days, designers are expected to create million-dollar looks without the million-dollar budget, where their decorating skills will be pushed to the max. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A First Look at Best Room Wins, Bravo’s New Interior Design Competition Series," 14 Mar. 2019 According to LiveScience, most people are expected to already be at home and in bed, and that time won't bother many bars or restaurants. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "10 Things You Didn't Know About Daylight Saving Time," 6 Mar. 2019

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 3

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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Learn More about expect

Statistics for expect

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for expect

The first known use of expect was in 1560

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More Definitions for expect

expect

verb

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

expect

verb
ex·​pect | \ ik-ˈspekt How to pronounce expect (audio) \
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 How to pronounce expect (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on expect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with expect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for expect

Spanish Central: Translation of expect

Nglish: Translation of expect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expect for Arabic Speakers

Comments on expect

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