Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: exspectare 'to look forward to', from spectare 'to look at'


ex‧pect S1 W1 [transitive]

think something will happen

to think that something will happen because it seems likely or has been planned
expect to do something
I expect to be back within a week.
The company expects to complete work in April.
expect somebody/something to do something
Emergency repairs were expected to take three weeks.
I didn't expect him to stay so long.
expect (that)
There's the doorbell - I expect it'll be my mother.
He will be hard to beat. I fully expect (=am completely sure about) that and I'm ready.
'Who are you?' he murmured, only half expecting (=thinking it was possible, but not likely) her to answer.
He didn't get his expected pay rise.
as expected (=in the way that was planned or thought likely to happen)
As expected, the whole family was shocked by the news.
something is (only) to be expected (=used to say that you are not surprised by something, especially something unpleasant)
A little nervousness is only to be expected when you are starting a new job.


to demand that someone does something because it is a duty or seems reasonable
expect something from somebody
The officer expects complete obedience from his troops.
expect somebody to do something
I can't expect her to be on time if I'm late myself.
expect a lot of somebody/expect too much of somebody (=think someone can do more than may be possible)
The school expects a lot of its students.

think somebody/something will arrive

to believe that someone or something is going to arrive:
We're expecting Alison home any minute now.
Snow is expected by the weekend.
an expected crowd of 80,000 people
! Expect or wait for?see usage note wait1


to think that you will find that someone or something has a particular quality or does a particular thing:
I expected her to be taller than me, not shorter.

be expecting (a baby)

MB if a woman is expecting, she is going to have a baby

what can/do you expect?

spoken used to say that you are not surprised by something unpleasant or disappointing:
He was late, but what do you expect?

how do/can you expect ...?

spoken used to say that it is unreasonable to think that something will happen or be true:
If I can't help her, how can you expect to?

I expect

British English spoken used to introduce or agree with a statement that you think is probably true:
I expect you're right.
'Do you think they're going to attack?' ' I expect so.'

wait, expect, look forward to, await
Wait means to stay somewhere or not do something until something comes, happens etc I'm waiting to hear from Dan before I arrange my trip.Expect means to believe that something will come, happen etc The police are expecting (NOT waiting) trouble.Look forward to means to be excited and pleased about something that is going to happen I'm looking forward to getting his letter.!! Wait is never followed directly by a noun. You must say wait for She was waiting for a bus (NOT waiting a bus).In formal English, you can use await, which is followed directly by a noun We are awaiting your instructions.See also wait

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