[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.
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

Examples from the Web for expectancies

Historical Examples of expectancies

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
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper