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

Very hot and humid conditions are expected across the Eastern US for the end of the week into the weekend. NBC News, "Heat wave expected to bake two-thirds of nation through weekend," 17 July 2019 All projects are expected to be finished by late August, according to Jodi Smeiska, the district's director of buildings and grounds. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Improvements at Brown Deer Schools are nearing completion and should be done by late August," 17 July 2019 There are expected to be about 15 players from Arizona. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona Lutheran's Doug Meyer chosen to coach in NCAA College Basketball Academy at GCU," 16 July 2019 As immigration activists protest in communities around the country, raids are expected to begin Sunday, July 14. Meagan Fredette, refinery29.com, "Here's What You Can Do If ICE Knocks On Your Door," 15 July 2019 More than 150,000 current Hoosier youth are expected to die from tobacco use in their lifetime, the CDC estimates. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana was a 'leader' in tobacco prevention. Now it's falling behind.," 15 July 2019 With both teams’ rosters bolstered by returns from players who were on international duty for the Gold Cup, the two teams on the field on Saturday are expected to be drastically different than the lineups in Columbus. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City rides momentum of Open Cup victory into rematch with Columbus Crew," 14 July 2019 During the promotional event, sales are expected to more than double compared to non-sale days. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Amazon’s Prime Day sale isn’t enough to make Indians forget Flipkart," 14 July 2019 Daimler said the higher expenses and provisions, together with lower-than-expected growth in auto markets, would also hit full-year figures. Sara Germano, WSJ, "Daimler Issues Another Profit Warning as Legal Woes, Recalls Hit," 12 July 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

20 Jul 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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