View synonyms for anticipate


[ an-tis-uh-peyt ]

verb (used with object)

, an·tic·i·pat·ed, an·tic·i·pat·ing.
  1. to realize beforehand; foretaste or foresee:

    to anticipate pleasure.

  2. to expect; look forward to; be sure of:

    to anticipate a favorable decision.

  3. to perform (an action) before another has had time to act.
  4. to answer (a question), obey (a command), or satisfy (a request) before it is made:

    He anticipated each of my orders.

  5. to nullify, prevent, or forestall by taking countermeasures in advance:

    to anticipate a military attack.

    Synonyms: avert, obviate, preclude

  6. to consider or mention before the proper time:

    to anticipate more difficult questions.

  7. to be before (another) in doing, thinking, achieving, etc.:

    Many modern inventions were anticipated by Leonardo da Vinci.

  8. Finance.
    1. to expend (funds) before they are legitimately available for use.
    2. to discharge (an obligation) before it is due.

verb (used without object)

, an·tic·i·pat·ed, an·tic·i·pat·ing.
  1. to think, speak, act, or feel an emotional response in advance.


/ ænˈtɪsɪˌpeɪt /


  1. may take a clause as object to foresee and act in advance of

    he anticipated the fall in value by selling early

  2. to thwart by acting in advance of; forestall

    I anticipated his punch by moving out of reach

  3. also intr to mention (something) before its proper time

    don't anticipate the climax of the story

  4. may take a clause as object to regard as likely; expect; foresee

    he anticipated that it would happen

  5. to make use of in advance of possession

    he anticipated his salary in buying a house

  6. to pay (a bill, etc) before it falls due
  7. to cause to happen sooner

    the spread of nationalism anticipated the decline of the Empire

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Usage Note

Despite claims that anticipate should only be used to mean “to perform (an action) or respond to (a question, etc.) in advance” or “to forestall,” it has been used widely since the 18th century as a synonym for expect, often with an implication of pleasure: We anticipate a large turnout at the next meeting. This use is standard in all types of speech and writing.
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The use of anticipate to mean expect should be avoided
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Derived Forms

  • anˈticiˌpator, noun
  • anˈticipatorily, adverb
  • anˈticipatory, adjective
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Other Words From

  • an·tic·i·pat·a·ble adjective
  • an·tic·i·pa·tor noun
  • pre·an·tic·i·pate verb (used with object) preanticipated preanticipating
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Word History and Origins

Origin of anticipate1

First recorded in 1525–35; from Latin anticipātus “taken before, anticipated,” past participle of anticipāre, “to take before,” equivalent to anti- (variant of ante- ante- ( def ) ) + -cipāre (combining form of capere “to take”)
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Word History and Origins

Origin of anticipate1

C16: from Latin anticipāre to take before, realize beforehand, from anti- ante- + capere to take
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Example Sentences

The November release will be welcomed not only by Obama readers, but by booksellers and fellow publishers who anticipate that the massive demand for A Promised Land will raise sales for everyone.

From Fortune

The Singapore hub itself will start off selling ads programmatically, but Insider anticipates more of these global campaigns with local variants.

From Digiday

Regardless of your industry, you should look for ways to anticipate and meet customer needs.

The most recent round of surveys in Wisconsin has been highly anticipated, coming after a Republican National Convention that focused heavily on the law-and-order message and in the wake of the Blake shooting and the subsequent protests.

In keeping with the event’s “time flies” theme, Apple debuted two new models of smartwatch, as widely anticipated.

From Fortune

These insights and discoveries help PepsiCo anticipate, rather than react to, an ever-changing consumer landscape.

"We anticipate that when we first start training, we won't have that many [recruits] to begin with," said a defense official.

It is not at all hard to anticipate additional forces—Turkmens and others—joining the fray in the future.

The officers explained that those Sikhs had been lynched to death and that Singh ought to anticipate the same fate for himself.

But the killers clearly failed to anticipate the uproar that would follow.

The pulse in Louis's temples beat hard; yet he was determined not to anticipate, but make Wharton explain himself.

I did not anticipate a tour of pleasure through Ireland, but the reality is more painful than I anticipated.

On the other hand, his feet are so cold from the artery being severed that they anticipate mortification.

Never anticipate the point or joke of any anecdote told in your presence.

But the event was such as even his sanguine spirit had scarcely ventured to anticipate.


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When To Use

What are other ways to say anticipate?

To anticipate something is to look forward to it or to be sure of it. How is anticipate different from expect, hope, and await? Learn more on