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 If the playbook works in November’s two elections for governor, however, especially in Virginia, which remains something of a swing state, expect to see Democrats step up their use of it nationwide. Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2021 Public health groups expect further combative legislation. al, 15 Sep. 2021 However, many do expect to see prices rise again this fall and winter. Lance Lambert, Fortune, 15 Sep. 2021 Just like Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt handled the heavy lifting for the Cleveland Browns against the Chiefs, expect something similar from the tandem of Williams and Latavius Murray. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Though the Audience Outlook Monitor found that arts lovers’ consumption of digital content has declined in recent months, few people expect to do without online options entirely. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Public health groups expect further combative legislation. Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2021 Forecasters expect the storm to produce another 5 to 10 inches of rain through Thursday in the upper Texas coast, along with southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle. Zoe Christen Jones, CBS News, 15 Sep. 2021 Instead, the players expect the Seminoles to rise to the challenge in what is the conference opener for both teams. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, 15 Sep. 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

Dictionary Entries Near expect

expdn

expect

expectance

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Statistics for expect

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Expect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expect. Accessed 24 Sep. 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.

expect

intransitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on expect

Nglish: Translation of expect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of expect for Arabic Speakers

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