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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 Indo-European roots.]

ex·pect′a·ble adj.
ex·pect′a·bly adv.
ex·pect′ed·ly adv.
ex·pect′ed·ness n.
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (tr; may take a clause as object or an infinitive)
1. to regard as probable or likely; anticipate: he expects to win.
2. to look forward to or be waiting for: we expect good news today.
3. to decide that (something) is requisite or necessary; require: the boss expects us to work late today.
[C16: from Latin exspectāre to watch for, from spectāre to look at]
exˈpectable adj
exˈpectably adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



1. to anticipate the occurrence or the coming of: to expect guests.
2. to consider as reasonable, due, or justified: We expect obedience.
3. Informal. to suppose; surmise: I expect you want to rest now.
4. to anticipate the birth of (one's child).
be expecting, to be pregnant.
[1550–60; < Latin ex(s)pectāre to look out for, await =ex- ex-1 + spectāre to look at, frequentative of specere]
ex•pect′a•ble, adj.
ex•pect′a•bly, adv.
ex•pect′ed•ly, adv.
ex•pect′ed•ness, n.
ex•pect′er, n.
ex•pect′ing•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'expect'

If you expect that something will happen, you believe that it will happen.

I expect you'll be glad when I leave.
They expect that about 1,500 people will attend.

You can sometimes use a to-infinitive after expect instead of a that-clause. For example, instead of saying 'I expect Johnson will come to the meeting', you can say 'I expect Johnson to come to the meeting'. However, the meaning is not quite the same. If you say 'I expect Johnson will come to the meeting', you are simply saying that you think he will come. If you say 'I expect Johnson to come to the meeting', you are showing that you want Johnson to come to the meeting and that you will be annoyed or disappointed if he does not come.

Nobody expected the strike to succeed.
The talks are expected to last two or three days.

Instead of saying you 'expect something will not' happen, you usually say you do not expect it will happen or do not expect it to happen.

I don't expect it will be necessary.
I did not expect to be acknowledged.

If you expect something is true, you think it is probably true.

I expect they've gone.

Instead of saying you 'expect something is not' true, you usually say you do not expect it is true.

I don't expect you have much time for shopping.

If someone asks if something is true, you can say I expect so.

'Will Joe be here at Christmas?' – 'I expect so.'

Be Careful!
Don't say 'I expect it'.

If you are expecting someone or something, you believe that they are going to arrive or happen.

They were expecting Wendy and the children.
Rodin was expecting an important letter from France.
We are expecting rain.

When expect is used like this, don't use a preposition after it.

2. 'wait for'

Don't confuse expect with wait for. If you are waiting for someone or something, you are remaining in the same place or delaying doing something until they arrive or happen.

He sat on the bench and waited for Miguel.
Stop waiting for things to happen. Make them happen.
See wait
3. 'look forward to'

When you look forward to something that is going to happen, you feel happy because you think you will enjoy it.

I'll bet you're looking forward to your holidays.
I always looked forward to seeing her.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: expected
Gerund: expecting

I expect
you expect
he/she/it expects
we expect
you expect
they expect
I expected
you expected
he/she/it expected
we expected
you expected
they expected
Present Continuous
I am expecting
you are expecting
he/she/it is expecting
we are expecting
you are expecting
they are expecting
Present Perfect
I have expected
you have expected
he/she/it has expected
we have expected
you have expected
they have expected
Past Continuous
I was expecting
you were expecting
he/she/it was expecting
we were expecting
you were expecting
they were expecting
Past Perfect
I had expected
you had expected
he/she/it had expected
we had expected
you had expected
they had expected
I will expect
you will expect
he/she/it will expect
we will expect
you will expect
they will expect
Future Perfect
I will have expected
you will have expected
he/she/it will have expected
we will have expected
you will have expected
they will have expected
Future Continuous
I will be expecting
you will be expecting
he/she/it will be expecting
we will be expecting
you will be expecting
they will be expecting
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been expecting
you have been expecting
he/she/it has been expecting
we have been expecting
you have been expecting
they have been expecting
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been expecting
you will have been expecting
he/she/it will have been expecting
we will have been expecting
you will have been expecting
they will have been expecting
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been expecting
you had been expecting
he/she/it had been expecting
we had been expecting
you had been expecting
they had been expecting
I would expect
you would expect
he/she/it would expect
we would expect
you would expect
they would expect
Past Conditional
I would have expected
you would have expected
he/she/it would have expected
we would have expected
you would have expected
they would have expected
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.expect - regard something as probable or likelyexpect - regard something as probable or likely; "The meteorologists are expecting rain for tomorrow"
guess, reckon, suppose, think, imagine, opine - expect, believe, or suppose; "I imagine she earned a lot of money with her new novel"; "I thought to find her in a bad state"; "he didn't think to find her in the kitchen"; "I guess she is angry at me for standing her up"
assume, presume, take for granted - take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof; "I assume his train was late"
hypothesise, hypothesize, speculate, conjecture, theorise, theorize, hypothecate, suppose - to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds; "Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps"
pass judgment, evaluate, judge - form a critical opinion of; "I cannot judge some works of modern art"; "How do you evaluate this grant proposal?" "We shouldn't pass judgment on other people"
await, expect, wait, look - look forward to the probable occurrence of; "We were expecting a visit from our relatives"; "She is looking to a promotion"; "he is waiting to be drafted"
believe, trust - be confident about something; "I believe that he will come back from the war"
2.expect - consider obligatory; request and expect; "We require our secretary to be on time"; "Aren't we asking too much of these children?"; "I expect my students to arrive in time for their lessons"
demand - request urgently and forcefully; "The victim's family is demanding compensation"; "The boss demanded that he be fired immediately"; "She demanded to see the manager"
call - require the presentation of for redemption before maturation; "Call a bond"
3.expect - look forward to the probable occurrence ofexpect - look forward to the probable occurrence of; "We were expecting a visit from our relatives"; "She is looking to a promotion"; "he is waiting to be drafted"
expect - look forward to the birth of a child; "She is expecting in March"
anticipate, expect - regard something as probable or likely; "The meteorologists are expecting rain for tomorrow"
look forward - expect or hope for; "I look to hear from you soon"
look to - turn one's interests or expectations towards; "look to the future"; "this method looks to significant wavings"
hold the line, hang on, hold on - hold the phone line open; "Please hang on while I get your folder"
look for, look to, anticipate - be excited or anxious about
4.expect - consider reasonable or due; "I'm expecting a full explanation as to why these files were destroyed"
consider, regard, view, reckon, see - deem to be; "She views this quite differently from me"; "I consider her to be shallow"; "I don't see the situation quite as negatively as you do"
5.expect - look forward to the birth of a childexpect - look forward to the birth of a child; "She is expecting in March"
have a bun in the oven, gestate, expect, bear, carry - be pregnant with; "She is bearing his child"; "The are expecting another child in January"; "I am carrying his child"
await, expect, wait, look - look forward to the probable occurrence of; "We were expecting a visit from our relatives"; "She is looking to a promotion"; "he is waiting to be drafted"
6.expect - be pregnant withexpect - be pregnant with; "She is bearing his child"; "The are expecting another child in January"; "I am carrying his child"
birth, give birth, bear, deliver, have - cause to be born; "My wife had twins yesterday!"
expect - look forward to the birth of a child; "She is expecting in March"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. think, believe, suppose, assume, trust, imagine, reckon, forecast, calculate, presume, foresee, conjecture, surmise, think likely We expect the talks will continue until tomorrow.
3. require, demand, want, wish, look for, call for, ask for, hope for, insist on, count on, rely upon He expects total obedience and blind loyalty from his staff.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


1. To look forward to confidently:
anticipate, await, bargain for (or on), count on, depend on (or upon), look for, wait (for).
Informal: figure on.
2. To oblige to do or not do by force of authority, propriety, or custom:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
توقعيَتَوَقَّعُيَتَوَقَّعيُتَوَقَّع من، يُنْتَظَريَعْتَقِد، يَتَوَقَّع
elvárvalószínûnek tart
ætlast til, krefjastbúast viîbúast viî, væntagera ráî fyrir, òykjast vita
laukianti vaikolaukimaslūkestisnėščiasu viltimi
förvänta (sig)
trông mong


1. (= anticipate, hope for, wait for) → esperar
I did not know what to expectyo no sabía qué esperar
it's not what I expectedno es lo que yo esperaba
you know what to expectya sabes a qué atenerte
we'll expect you for supperte esperamos a cenar
is he expecting you?¿tiene usted cita con él?
it's easier than I expectedes más fácil de lo que esperaba
to expect to do sthesperar hacer algo
they expect to arrive tomorrowesperan llegar mañana
I expect him to arrive sooncreo que llegará pronto
it is expected thatse espera que + subjun, se prevé que
we expect great things of himtenemos depositadas grandes esperanzas en él
I expected as much; just what I expectedya me lo imaginaba or figuraba
that was (only) to be expectedeso era de esperar
as was to be expected; as might have been expected; as one might expectcomo era de esperar
when least expectedel día menos pensado
expect me when you see meno cuentes conmigo
2. (= suppose) → imaginarse, suponer
I expect sosupongo que sí, a lo mejor
yes, I expect it isasí tenía que ser
I expect it was Johnme imagino que fue John
I expect she's there by nowme imagino que ya habrá llegado
I expect he'll be lateseguro que llega tarde
3. (= require) to expect sth (of/from sb)esperar algo (de algn)
I think you're expecting too much of mecreo que esperas demasiado de mí
to expect sb to do sthesperar que algn haga algo
I expect you to be punctualcuento con que serás puntual
how can you expect me to sympathize?¿y me pides compasión?
you can't expect too much from himno debes esperar demasiado de él
she can't be expected to know thatno se puede esperar or pretender que sepa eso
what do you expect me to do about it?¿qué pretendes que haga yo?
it is hardly to be expected thatapenas cabe esperar que + subjun
B. VI she's expectingestá encinta, está en estado
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= anticipate) → s'attendre à, s'attendre à ce que + subj
I was expecting the worst → Je m'attendais au pire.
to expect (that) → s'attendre à ce que + subj
I expect it will rain → Je m'attends à ce qu'il pleuve.
to expect to do sth → s'attendre à faire qch
to expect sb to do sth → s'attendre à ce que qn fasse qch
to expect sth to happen → s'attendre à ce que qch arrive
as expected → comme prévu
(= count on) → compter sur, escompter
(= hope for) → espérer
(= require) → demander, exiger
to expect to have sth → demander à avoir qch
to expect sb to do sth → demander à qn de faire qch, exiger que qn fasse qch
We expect you to arrive on time → Nous vous demandons d'arriver à l'heure.
(= suppose) → supposer
to expect (that) → supposer que
I expect it's a mistake → Je suppose qu'il s'agit d'une erreur.
I expect so → je crois que oui, je crois bien
(= await) [+ person, letter] → attendre
I'm expecting him for dinner → Je l'attends pour dîner.
[+ baby] → attendre
She's expecting a baby → Elle attend un enfant.
to be expecting → être enceinte
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= anticipate)erwarten; esp sth badrechnen mit; that was to be expecteddas war zu erwarten, damit war zu rechnen; I know what to expectich weiß, was mich erwartet; we were expecting war in 19391939 haben wir mit Krieg gerechnet; to expect the worstmit dem Schlimmsten rechnen; I expected as muchdas habe ich erwartet, damit habe ich gerechnet; he failed as (we had) expecteder fiel, wie erwartet, durch; he got first prize as was to be expectedwie erwartet, bekam er den ersten Preis; to expect to do somethingerwarten or damit rechnen, etw zu tun; I didn’t expect to gain his sympathyich habe kein Mitleid von ihm erwartet; he expects to be electeder rechnet damit, gewählt zu werden; it is expected that …es wird erwartet, dass …, man rechnet damit, dass …; it is hardly to be expected that …es ist kaum zu erwarten or damit zu rechnen, dass …; the talks are expected to last two daysdie Gespräche sollen zwei Tage dauern; she is expected to resign tomorrowes wird erwartet, dass sie morgen zurücktritt; I was expecting him to comeich habe eigentlich erwartet, dass er kommt; you can’t expect me to agree to that!Sie erwarten doch wohl nicht, dass ich dem zustimme!; I’ll expect to see you tomorrow thendann sehen wir uns also morgen; at that price, what did you expect?was hast du denn zu dem or für den Preis erwartet?
(= suppose)denken, glauben; will they be on time? — yes, I expect so/no, I expect notkommen sie pünktlich? — ja, ich glaube schon or ich denke doch/nein, ich glaube nicht; this work is very tiring — yes, I expect it isdiese Arbeit ist sehr anstrengend — (ja,) das glaube ich; I expect it will rainhöchstwahrscheinlich wird es regnen, es wird wohl regnen; I expect you’d like a drinkSie möchten sicher etwas trinken, ich nehme an, Sie möchten etwas trinken; I expect you’re tiredSie werden sicher müde sein; I expect he turned it downer hat wohl abgelehnt, ich nehme an, er hat abgelehnt; well, I expect he’s righter wird schon recht haben; well, I expect it’s all for the bestdas ist wohl nur gut so; I expect it was your father who phonedich nehme an, es war dein Vater, der angerufen hat
(= demand) to expect something of or from somebodyetw von jdm erwarten; to expect somebody to do somethingerwarten, dass jd etw tut; I expect you to be obedientich erwarte von dir Gehorsam; what do you expect me to do about it?was soll ich da tun?; don’t expect me to feel sorryerwarte von mir kein Mitleid; are we expected to tip the waiter?müssen wir dem Kellner Trinkgeld geben?
(= await) person, thing, action, babyerwarten; I will be expecting you tomorrowich erwarte dich morgen; I am expecting them for supperich erwarte sie zum Abendessen; we’ll expect you when we see you (inf)wenn ihr kommt, dann kommt ihr (inf); you’ll have to expect me when you see me (inf)wenn ich da bin, bin ich da! (inf)
vi she’s expectingsie ist in anderen Umständen, sie bekommt or erwartet ein Kind
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. vt
a. (anticipate) → aspettarsi, prevedere; (count on) → contare su; (hope for) → sperare in; (wait for, letter, guests, baby) → aspettare
it's easier than I expected → è più facile del previsto
to expect to do sth → pensare or contare di fare qc
I expected as much → me l'aspettavo
we'll expect you for supper → ti aspettiamo per cena
that was (only) to be expected → non potevamo che aspettarcelo
I did not know what to expect → non sapevo che cosa aspettarmi
as expected → come previsto
I'll expect you when I see you (fam) → ci vediamo quando ci vediamo
b. (suppose) → pensare, supporre
I expect so → credo di sì
yes, I expect it is → sì, non ne dubito
c. (require) to expect sth (from sb)esigere qc (da qn)
to expect sb to do sth → pretendere or esigere che qn faccia qc
I expect you to be punctual → esigo che tu sia puntuale
you can't expect too much from him → non puoi pretendere troppo da lui
what do you expect me to do about it? → cosa vuoi che ci faccia?
2. vi to be expecting (a baby) → essere incinta or in stato interessante
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ikˈspekt) verb
1. to think of as likely to happen or come. I'm expecting a letter today; We expect her on tomorrow's train.
2. to think or believe (that something will happen). He expects to be home tomorrow; I expect that he will go; `Will she go too?' `I expect so' / `I don't expect so' / `I expect not.'
3. to require. They expect high wages for their professional work; You are expected to tidy your own room.
4. to suppose or assume. I expect (that) you're tired.
exˈpectancy noun
the state of expecting or hoping. a feeling/look/air of expectancy.
exˈpectant adjective
1. full of hope or expectation. the expectant faces of the audience.
2. expecting (a baby). an expectant mother.
exˈpectantly adverb
ˌexpecˈtation (ekspek-) noun
1. the state of expecting. In expectation of a wage increase, he bought a washing-machine.
2. what is expected. He failed his exam, contrary to expectation(s); Did the concert come up to your expectations?
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يَتَوَقَّعُ očekávat forvente erwarten αναμένω esperar olettaa attendre à (‘s) očekivati aspettarsi 期待する 기대하다 verwachten forvente spodziewać się esperar ожидать förvänta (sig) คาดว่า ummak trông mong 期待
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


vt. esperar; suponer;
I knew what to expectSabía qué esperar.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
"I wasn't prepared--I didn't expect--good heavens, one DOESN'T expect a goddess for a landlady !
As an animal, Edward excelled me far; should he prove as paramount in mind as in person I must be a slave--for I must expect from him no lion-like generosity to one weaker than himself; his cold, avaricious eye, his stern, forbidding manner told me he would not spare.
The future situations in which we must expect to be usually placed, do not present any equivalent security against the danger which is apprehended.
Gardiner himself did not expect any success from this measure, but as his brother was eager in it, he meant to assist him in pursuing it.
"No!" replied D'Artagnan, "deuce take it, the campaign is going to begin; I wish to be there, I expect to get something by it."
But you don't expect much from poor human nature-- so don't expect much from me.
You will have much pleasure in being in London, and especially in being together; and if Elinor would ever condescend to anticipate enjoyment, she would foresee it there from a variety of sources; she would, perhaps, expect some from improving her acquaintance with her sister-in-law's family."
"But, God bless my soul, you didn't expect to get a snake like the Lambton worm, did you?
"He is a man with whom I had dealings abroad," he said, "I did not expect him to turn up here."
The worst that a prince may expect from a hostile people is to be abandoned by them; but from hostile nobles he has not only to fear abandonment, but also that they will rise against him; for they, being in these affairs more far- seeing and astute, always come forward in time to save themselves, and to obtain favours from him whom they expect to prevail.
Tyrrel, most unwisely and improperly, sent for Norah, and, repeating the conversation that had taken place, warned her of the reception she might expect from the man who stood toward you in the position of a father, if she accepted an offer of marriage on your part.
But however prolonged and exhausting the chase, the harpooneer is expected to pull his oar meanwhile to the uttermost; indeed, he is expected to set an example of superhuman activity to the rest, not only by incredible rowing, but by repeated loud and intrepid exclamations; and what it is to keep shouting at the top of one's compass, while all the other muscles are strained and half started --what that is none know but those who have tried it.