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 expect (audio) \ adjective
expectably \ ik-​ˈspek-​tə-​blē How to pronounce expect (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 Another difference in the south is that businesses and politicians expect to see benefits from Brexit, as well as losses. The Economist, "How the Irish Republic is making the best of Brexit," 8 May 2021 Lawmakers hope to award licenses by January 1 and expect that gamblers will be able to place bets by the 2022 Super Bowl. Will Yakowicz, Forbes, "Mobile Sports Betting To Bring New York State 100% More In Tax Revenue Than Cannabis," 6 May 2021 Pfizer and Moderna are testing their vaccines in children as young as 6 months old and expect to ask the FDA for EUAs covering infants and children later this year. Jason Hanna, CNN, "Less than a third of parents say they'd let their child get Covid-19 vaccine right away, survey finds," 6 May 2021 This year’s parade would have fallen on June 13, two days before California officials expect to fully reopen the state’s economy amid declining coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. Thuc Nhi Nguyen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Rally the writers," 6 May 2021 As more people are vaccinated and see a light at the end of the tunnel, more are willing to book a trip or spend on work clothes, as some expect to head back into the office soon. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Put your stimulus cash towards credit card debt, not student loans: Here's why," 5 May 2021 Except in this story, there are actual victims: the people who hold debt that the government doesn’t realistically expect to collect in full, but who are bled for payment regardless. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "The Real-Life Victims of Democrats’ Irrational Deficit Paranoia," 5 May 2021 Charity experts expect no changes at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation after divorce More than 800 wired and wireless broadband providers are participating in the program, the FCC says. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "Here's how you can apply to the FCC for the $50 discount on your broadband bill," 5 May 2021 And while some large employers like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase expect to bring their workers back in the weeks ahead, many of the city’s larger corporations continued to plan slow phases of reopening. New York Times, "Sudden Decision to Reopen Leaves New Yorkers Dizzy and Divided," 4 May 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expect. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on expect

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