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[ik-spek-tuh n-see]
See more synonyms for expectancy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ex·pect·an·cies.
  1. the quality or state of expecting; expectation; anticipatory belief or desire.
  2. the state of being expected.
  3. an object of expectation; something expected.
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Also ex·pect·ance.

Origin of expectancy

From the Medieval Latin word ex(s)pectantia, dating back to 1590–1600. See expectant, -ancy
Can be confusedexpectancy expectation
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for expectance

Historical Examples

  • By desire, by expectance, by petition, by faithful stewardship.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren

  • "No, I didn't," said Annie, obliged by this expectance to say something.

    Annie Kilburn

    William Dean Howells

  • The word which he employs, by its very form, expresses that that expectance is habitual and continuous.

  • In expectance of two words of you this morning I venture to offer you my best wishes for the future.

  • Mrs. Munger prompted, with an increase of expectance in her large clear eyes, and of impartiality in her whole face.

    Annie Kilburn

    William Dean Howells

British Dictionary definitions for expectance



  1. something expected, esp on the basis of a norm or averagehis life expectancy was 30 years
  2. anticipation; expectation
  3. the prospect of a future interest or possession, esp in propertyan estate in expectancy
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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 expectance



1590s, from Latin expectantia (see expectant) + -ancy.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper