v. ex·pect·ed, ex·pect·ing, ex·pects
a. To look forward to the probable occurrence or appearance of: expecting a phone call; expects rain on Sunday.
b. To consider likely or certain: expect to see them soon. See Usage Note at anticipate.
2. To consider reasonable or due: We expect an apology.
3. To consider obligatory; require: The school expects its pupils to be on time.
4. Informal To presume; suppose.
To be pregnant. Used in progressive tenses: My wife is expecting again.
[Latin exspectāre : ex-, ex- + spectāre, to look at, frequentative of specere, to see; see spek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: expect, anticipate, hope, await
These verbs relate to the idea of looking ahead to something in the future. To expect is to look forward to the likely occurrence or appearance of someone or something: "We should not expect something for nothing—but we all do and call it Hope" (Edgar W. Howe).
Anticipate sometimes refers to taking advance action, as to forestall or prevent the occurrence of something expected or to meet a wish or request before it is articulated: anticipated the storm and locked the shutters. The term can also refer to having a foretaste of something expected: The police are anticipating trouble with rowdy fans after the game. To hope is to look forward with desire and usually with a measure of confidence in the likelihood of gaining what is desired: I hope to see you soon. To await is to wait expectantly and with certainty: She is eagerly awaiting your letter.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.