[ik-spek-tuh n-see]

noun, plural ex·pect·an·cies.

the quality or state of expecting; expectation; anticipatory belief or desire.
the state of being expected.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for expectancy

Historical Examples of expectancy

  • England was in a condition of great political excitement and expectancy.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Otto and Pussy had taken their seats, full of excitement and expectancy.

    Rico and Wiseli

    Johanna Spyri

  • All that forenoon, the little house throbbed with a curious sense of expectancy.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • It is very sure in expectancy, like the making of matrimonial matches.

  • There was thus a rather tense air of expectancy when the train pulled in.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

British Dictionary definitions for expectancy




something expected, esp on the basis of a norm or averagehis life expectancy was 30 years
anticipation; expectation
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 expectancy

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper