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anticipate

[an-tis-uh-peyt]
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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.
  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.
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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.
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Origin of anticipate

1525–35; < Latin anticipātus taken before, anticipated (past participle of anticipāre), equivalent to anti- (variant of ante- ante-) + -cip- (combining form of capere to take) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsan·tic·i·pat·a·ble, adjectivean·tic·i·pa·tor, nounpre·an·tic·i·pate, verb (used with object), pre·an·tic·i·pat·ed, pre·an·tic·i·pat·ing.un·an·tic·i·pat·ed, adjectiveun·an·tic·i·pat·ing, adjectiveun·an·tic·i·pat·ing·ly, adverbwell-an·tic·i·pat·ed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for anticipate on Thesaurus.com
1. See expect. 5. preclude, obviate.

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for anticipating

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Affery, anticipating the last movement, was on the staircase.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Much obliged to you for recalling it so accurately and anticipating me.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The pleasure of the next day, the day she had been anticipating, was spoiled already for her.

    Mary-'Gusta

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They are anticipating the Home Rule Bill in their disposal of the land.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • "It's all right, dad," he said, anticipating his inevitable question.

    The Missionary

    George Griffith


British Dictionary definitions for anticipating

anticipate

verb (mainly tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object) to foresee and act in advance ofhe anticipated the fall in value by selling early
  2. to thwart by acting in advance of; forestallI anticipated his punch by moving out of reach
  3. (also intr) to mention (something) before its proper timedon't anticipate the climax of the story
  4. (may take a clause as object) to regard as likely; expect; foreseehe anticipated that it would happen
  5. to make use of in advance of possessionhe anticipated his salary in buying a house
  6. to pay (a bill, etc) before it falls due
  7. to cause to happen soonerthe spread of nationalism anticipated the decline of the Empire
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Derived Formsanticipator, nounanticipatory or anticipative, adjectiveanticipatorily or anticipatively, adverb

Word Origin

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

usage

The use of anticipate to mean expect should be avoided
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for anticipating

anticipate

v.

1530s, "to cause to happen sooner," a back-formation from anticipation, or else from Latin anticipatus, past participle of anticipare "take (care of) ahead of time," literally "taking into possession beforehand," from ante "before" (see ante) + capere "to take" (see capable).

Later "to be aware of (something) coming at a future time" (1640s). Used in the sense of "expect, look forward to" since 1749, but anticipate has an element of "prepare for, forestall" that should prevent its being used as a synonym for expect. Related: Anticipated; anticipating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper