• synonyms


[ik-spek-tuh n-see]
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 for expectancies

prospect, outlook, probability, calculation, prediction, supposition, suspense, trust, surmise, presumption, confidence, reliance, assumption, presentation, assurance, conjecture, belief, expectation, likelihood, presentiment

Examples from the Web for expectancies

Historical Examples of expectancies

  • Girls of sixteen or thereabout are prone to expectancies of this kind.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 95, September 1865


  • The process intensifies as expectancies of better life for less effort become predominant.

  • But as yet these expectancies were not considered property in the full sense of the word.

  • And presently across the room, her eyes met her mother's, and their two expectancies touched.

    Lady Merton, Colonist

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • That an unlimited number of expectancies are granted, and many are given for the same office to different persons.

British Dictionary definitions for expectancies



  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 expectancies



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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper