Definition of anticipate in English:


Line breaks: an¦tici|pate
Pronunciation: /anˈtɪsɪpeɪt


[with object]
  • 1Regard as probable; expect or predict: she anticipated scorn on her return to the theatre [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, think likely, forecast, prophesy, foretell, contemplate the possibility of, allow for, be prepared for; count on, bank on, look for, bargain on
    informal reckon on
    North American informal figure on
    archaic apprehend
  • 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.
  • 1.2Look forward to: Stephen was eagerly anticipating the break from the routine of business
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    • 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.
    foreshadow, precede, antedate, come/go before, be earlier than
  • 2.1Come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time): this is to anticipate the argument
    More 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.



More example sentences
  • At least sixty bands will be showcased nationwide to an increasingly eager and anticipative UK and Irish record company audience.
  • Essentially, the system senses the driving conditions and makes corrections and adjustments (to the brakes, throttle, steering) as required, but in such a way that it is more anticipative rather than reactive.
  • Jameson's ‘sort of anticipative wisdom’ draws attention to a symbolic significance in the lichen beyond its practical use as mattress and food.


More 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'.

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