Definition of anticipate in English:

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Pronunciation: /anˈtisəˌpāt/


[with object]
1Regard as probable; expect or predict: she anticipated scorn on her return to the theater [with clause]: it was anticipated that the rains would slow the military campaign
More example sentences
  • Argyle said it's just what was anticipated when long-range forecasts predicted up to 10 days without significant rain for most of the province.
  • Formal orders in this regard are anticipated in a day or so.
  • Given what is at stake the winners can anticipate a probable quarter-final against Wales.
expect, foresee, predict, be prepared for, bargain on, reckon on
informal figure on
1.1Guess or be aware of (what will happen) and take action in order to be prepared: they failed to anticipate a full scale invasion
More example sentences
  • The basis of the case I had prepared neither required nor anticipated such witness attendance and perhaps with hindsight I should have walked away at this stage.
  • And so we are prepared to anticipate those requests.
  • Of course we had anticipated this, had prepared Lucky for Stone's questions.
preempt, forestall, second-guess
informal beat someone to the punch
1.2Look forward to: Stephen was eagerly anticipating the break from the routine of business
More example sentences
  • This should draw a huge crowd to O'Hara Park as the clash will be eagerly awaited and anticipated by players, fans and supporters alike of both teams.
  • He spent his early years basking in the glow of late-night radio, listening to big-band jazz blasting live from hotels across London and eagerly anticipating the next hot chorus.
  • Carl and Kim had been eagerly anticipating the birth after Kim, a 33-year-old insurance account executive, discovered she was pregnant last year.
look forward to, await, count the days until
informal lick one's lips over
2Act as a forerunner or precursor of: he anticipated Bates’s theories on mimicry and protective coloration
More example sentences
  • While he professed a disdain for pure theory, Giblin anticipated some elements of the relationship between trade, national income, and employment that informed Keynesian economics.
  • His theory of imperialism anticipated European unification and contradictions associated today with globalization of production and markets.
  • Bolzano's theories of mathematical infinity anticipated Georg Cantor's theory of infinite sets.
2.1Come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time).
Example sentences
  • Note the telling musical score, anticipating events, cueing the audience as to when to be scared, assuming we cannot figure that out ourselves.
  • The excitement is mounting, particularly after a couple of signs appeared in the shop window anticipating the event.
  • Hopkins' answer anticipates Charles Johnson's assessment of the no-win situation faced by the African American periodical press.
2.2Act before (someone) in expectation of what they will do; forestall: I’m sorry, go on. I did not mean to anticipate you
More example sentences
  • Face falling, Briar promptly tried to open the door wider but, anticipating him, Althia moved just as quickly and nearly slammed the door on his fingers.
  • Should he be blamed for not anticipating Timothy?
  • He was moving well, hitting with accuracy, and anticipating his opponent.



Pronunciation: /anˈtisəˌpādər/
Example sentences
  • But increasingly, TV critics, like all other entertainment journalists, are expected not to be tastemakers but taste anticipators: to decide what will be hot and make sure they cover it, even if they end up panning it.
  • It has lost that magic touch which once made it the most accurate anticipator and satisfier of consumer needs and tastes.
  • To others, he was a creative architect of US military strength, a perceptive analyst of the international scene, and an accurate anticipator of future threats.


Mid 16th century (in the senses 'to take something into consideration', 'mention something before the proper time'): from Latin anticipat- 'acted in advance', from anticipare, based on ante- 'before' + capere 'take'.

Words that rhyme with anticipate

dissipate, participate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: an·tic·i·pate

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