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;
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
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.
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.


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'.



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.

Definition of anticipate in: